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From the Publisher"In his brilliant first book, Gur Zak contrasts Petrarch's vernacular and Latin works as vehicles for attaining selfhood. In the Canzonieri Petrarch's attempts to achieve spiritual integrity by capturing his desired Laura/fame are repeatedly undercut by disappointment and compel him to further writing. In his Latin works Petrarch pursues unity of self by trying to eliminate desire altogether." -Ron Witt, Duke University
"This fascinating book offers a new perspective on the second crown of Italian literature, and an original way to understand the modernity of the poet of the self" - Renaissance Quarterly
"This book is an important addition to Petrarch and Renaissance humanism studies in that it presents a fresh, original, informed perspective on an issue that intrigued many past generations of scholars. Of no less importance, the book is written in a clear and transparent manner free of the trappings of professional jargon, making it accessible to a very wide audience". -Paul Colilli, Laurentian University, Speculum
"In sum, this fascinating book offers a new perspective on the second crown of Italian literature, and an original way to understand the modernity of the poet of the self."
-KRISTEN INA GRIMES,Saint Joseph's University
"Zak's slim volume constitutes an important contribution to the study of Petrarch and early humanisitic thought..." -Scott Surrency, Canadian Journal of History