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Petrarch Reading Boccaccio: Revisiting The Genesis Of The Triumphi

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Chapter Summary

Petrarch was far less open to recording his vernacular debts, but his long friendship and correspondence with Boccaccio suggest that in Boccaccio Petrarch had found an interlocutor who could respond in person. The scene Boccaccio describes of them working side by side during his stay in Padova may be an idealized vision of their relationship, but it does seem borne out by the connections between their poems in terza rima. The current critical interest in reception, particularly given the editorial and interpretative fortuna of the Triumphi, is understandable, but it has left the issue of the work's conception unresolved. It is difficult philological terrain, but an analysis of Petrarch's datable variants confirms the hypothesis that Petrarch's reading of Boccaccio redirected the development of Petrarch's own terza rima poems into the triumphal model for which it is still known today.

Keywords: Boccaccio; Petrarch; Triumphi



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