Dialogue on the Infinity of Love (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe Series)

Overview

Celebrated as a courtesan and poet, and as a woman of great intelligence and wit, Tullia d'Aragona (1510-56) entered the debate about the morality of love that engaged the best and most famous male intellects of sixteenth-century Italy. First published in Venice in 1547, but never before published in English, Dialogue on the Infinity of Love casts a woman rather than a man as the main disputant on the ethics of love.

Sexually liberated and financially independent, Tullia ...

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Dialogue on the Infinity of Love

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Overview

Celebrated as a courtesan and poet, and as a woman of great intelligence and wit, Tullia d'Aragona (1510-56) entered the debate about the morality of love that engaged the best and most famous male intellects of sixteenth-century Italy. First published in Venice in 1547, but never before published in English, Dialogue on the Infinity of Love casts a woman rather than a man as the main disputant on the ethics of love.

Sexually liberated and financially independent, Tullia d'Aragona dared to argue that the only moral form of love between woman and man is one that recognizes both the sensual and the spiritual needs of humankind. Declaring sexual drives to be fundamentally irrepressible and blameless, she challenged the Platonic and religious orthodoxy of her time, which condemned all forms of sensual experience, denied the rationality of women, and relegated femininity to the realm of physicality and sin. Human beings, she argued, consist of body and soul, sense and intellect, and honorable love must be based on this real nature.

By exposing the intrinsic misogyny of prevailing theories of love, Aragona vindicates all women, proposing a morality of love that restores them to intellectual and sexual parity with men. Through Aragona's sharp reasoning, her sense of irony and humor, and her renowned linguistic skill, a rare picture unfolds of an intelligent and thoughtful woman fighting sixteenth-century stereotypes of women and sexuality.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As part of a series on important women writers in the period 1300-1700, this booklet provides the first English translation of an important Renaissance dialog on the nature of human love. D'Aragona 1510-56, a wealthy courtesan and poet, daughter of a Roman courtesan and probably Cardinal Luigi d'Aragona, argues that human sexual drives are irrepressible and that a moral form of love must recognize both its sensual and spiritual aspects; here she challenges Catholic teaching and the prevailing Platonic philosophy of her day. Russell European languages, Queens Coll. and Merry modern languages, John Cook Univ., Australia have produced a lucid and lively translation; the useful introduction gives an analysis of the dialog. For academic collections.Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226136394
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Series: Other Voice in Early Modern Europe Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rinaldina Russell is professor of European Languages at Queens College, New York. Bruce Merry is professor of Modern Languages at John Cook University of North Queensland, Australia.

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Table of Contents

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: Introduction to the Series
Introduction by Rinaldina Russell
Suggestions for Further Reading
Dialogue on the Infinity of Love
Preface
Dedication
Dialogue
Index

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