Petrarch's Humanism and the Care of the Self

Petrarch's Humanism and the Care of the Self

by Gur Zak
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521114675

ISBN-13: 9780521114677

Pub. Date: 05/17/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Petrarch was one of the founding fathers of Renaissance humanism, yet the nature and significance of his ideas are still widely debated. In this book, Gur Zak examines two central issues in Petrarch’s works – his humanist philosophy and his concept of the self. Zak argues that both are defined by Petrarch’s idea of care for the self. Overcome by a

Overview

Petrarch was one of the founding fathers of Renaissance humanism, yet the nature and significance of his ideas are still widely debated. In this book, Gur Zak examines two central issues in Petrarch’s works – his humanist philosophy and his concept of the self. Zak argues that both are defined by Petrarch’s idea of care for the self. Overcome by a strong sense of fragmentation, Petrarch turned to the ancient idea that philosophy can bring harmony and wholeness to the soul through the use of spiritual exercises in the form of writing. Examining his vernacular poetry and his Latin works from both literary and historical perspectives, Zak explores Petrarch’s attempts to use writing as a spiritual exercise, how his spiritual techniques absorbed and transformed ancient and medieval traditions of writing, and the tensions that arose from his efforts to care for the self through writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521114677
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/17/2010
Pages:
190
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The indeterminate self: writing, desire, and temporality in Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta; 2. The crisis of the narrative self; 3. Petrarch's humanism and the ethics of care of the self; 4. Ovid, Augustine, and the limits of the ethics of care of the self; Conclusion.

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