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Shaping Interpretation: Scribal Practices And Book Formats In Three 'Descripti' Manuscripts Of Petrarca'S Vs Ernacular Poems

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with a neglected dimension of Petrarca's critical fortuna or legacy, the creative transmission of his texts. It is also a reflection on the interrelation between texts (be they literary or non-literary) and the material documents that contain them. The Quattrocento descriptive codices of the Fragmenta and Triumphi reflect more the book market during that period than they do the author's transcriptional strategies. The frontispiece of the codex Marston 99 bears the unassuming title Le Rime/di/Messer Francesco Petrarca. The book measures 215 mm x 145 mm and consists of 142 paper leaves, or chartae. The book is written primarily in a gotica cursiva that tends toward the libraria. The back spine of the manuscript informs us that the book is from "circa 1400". Indeed, the language and material features strongly suggest that the book was produced in northeastern Italy in the first quarter of the Quattrocento.

Keywords: Fragmenta; Petrarca; vernacular poems



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