Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller

Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller

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by Carlo Ginzburg
     
 

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The Cheese and the Worms is a study of the popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, a miller brought to trial during the Inquisition. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records of Domenico Scandella, a miller also known as Menocchio, to show how one person responded to the confusing political and religious conditions of his timeSee more details below

Overview

The Cheese and the Worms is a study of the popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, a miller brought to trial during the Inquisition. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records of Domenico Scandella, a miller also known as Menocchio, to show how one person responded to the confusing political and religious conditions of his time.

For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trail testimony he made referenes to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: "All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and out of that bulk a mass formed - just as cheese is made out of milk - and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels."

Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books
A wonderful book... Ginzburg is a historian with an insatiable curiosity, who pursues even the faintest of clues with all the zest of a born detective until every fragment of evidence can be fitted into place. The work of reconstruction is brilliant, the writing superbly readable, and by the end of the book the reader who has followed Dr. Ginzburg in his wanderings through the labyrinthine mind of the miller of the Friuli will take leave of this strange and quirky old man with genuine regret.
Washington Post - Lauro Martines

Ginzburg has excavated a marvelous and melancholy tale. Lay readers know that historical work of this order requires formidable skills and dogged research... Ginzburg's discovery of Menocchio is a dazzling entry into the historical world of popular culture.

Sixteenth Century Journal - Cristiano Zanetti

Why should we reread the story of Menocchio thirty-eight years after its publication? First, this new edition is a timely update. Ginzburg has penned a new preface and bibliographical information has been augmented. Second, because it is a work of rare scholarship that no student should forget, despite the fact that the context in which this book was crafted has significantly changed.

New York Review of Books - J. H. Elliott

A wonderful book... Ginzburg is a historian with an insatiable curiosity, who pursues even the faintest of clues with all the zest of a born detective until every fragment of evidence can be fitted into place. The work of reconstruction is brilliant, the writing superbly readable, and by the end of the book the reader who has followed Dr. Ginzburg in his wanderings through the labyrinthine mind of the miller of the Friuli will take leave of this strange and quirky old man with genuine regret.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140060461
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/1982
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Lauro Martines

Ginzburg has excavated a marvelous and melancholy tale. Lay readers know that historical work of this order requires formidable skills and dogged research... Ginzburg's discovery of Menocchio is a dazzling entry into the historical world of popular culture.

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