David Lummus (Stanford) - "Boccaccio and Petrarch on Poetry: Genealogy of the Pagan Gods and Invectives against the Physician"
Thursday April 14 at 4:30pm in Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries
In their respective defenses of poetry, Boccaccio and Petrarch not only defend their poetics, they also establish a civic and intellectual role for the poet as bearer of a unique form of knowledge. In this paper, I argue that Boccaccio engages with and subtly undermines Petrarch's poetics by reversing the social role that Petrarch envisages for the poet. I focus on the relationship between the Genealogy of the Pagan Gods and the Invectives against the Physician, but I also bring into discussion other works of the two authors, such as Boccaccio's Decameron and Life of Dante and Petrarch's Familiar Letters and On the Solitary Life.