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Infaticabile Maestro: Ernest Hatch Wilkins And The Manuscripts Of Petrarch'S Canzoniere

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Chapter Summary

Wilkins' approach to the Canzoniere deserves examination on its own merits, not only for the insight it yields into an optimistic phase in the history of American textual scholarship but because of the wariness it cautions us to maintain as we enter with a similar optimism the digital age. The Canzoniere in his view "is not a collection made towards the end of [Petrarch's] life in a single editorial effort, nor is it a more gradual accumulation of poems; it is a selective and ordered collection, the fashioning of which, begun in his youth, continued to the day of his death". A process of defamiliarization that recognizes the cultural and material factors has become essential because of the way Wilkins' legacy has governed discussion of the texts of the Canzoniere even among those who have begun to question his account of the manuscripts.

Keywords: Ernest Hatch Wilkins; Infaticabile Maestro; Petrarch's Canzoniere



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