Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

5 The Mosaic of Speech

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Hispanist Américo Castro's metaphor is all the more apt for being itself a piece of the humanist mosaic. This chapter traces the humanist obsession with mosaic as a figure of speech more than a genre of visual art. Erasmus uses the figure of the mosaic, at times disparagingly and at times approvingly, to evoke the intertextual practices of ancient and modern authors. He also assimilates the textual mosaic to the cento and the rhapsody as composite forms that rework the fragments of tradition into new and at times disconcerting patterns. In the Renaissance, mosaic seems to have prospered as a metaphor even as it lost its once prestigious status as an art form. Most historical surveys of the art of mosaic regard the Renaissance as a period of decadence and decline, but the same era witnessed a tremendous revival of the classical topos of the mosaic of speech.

Keywords: Erasmus; Hispanist Américo Castro's metaphor; humanist mosaic; Latin speech; Renaissance literature; rhapsody; visual art



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Dancing around the Well — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation