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Petrarchism at WorkContextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare$
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William J. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700019

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700019.001.0001

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Making Petrarch Matter

Making Petrarch Matter

The Parts and Labor of Textual Revision

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter 2 Making Petrarch Matter
Source:
Petrarchism at Work
Author(s):

William J. Kennedy

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501700019.003.0003

This chapter explores the acts of redaction and revision in Petrarch’s works. In general, Petrarch’s manuscripts during the 1350s and 1360s abound in tropes associated with time, change, and shifting identity, and his revisions in these manuscripts often concern the relationship of change to physical matter. The chapter argues that the revisionary nature of his poems shapes Petrarch’s vernacular poetics, and its influence dominates sixteenth-century Petrarchism. Petrarch himself seems to have thought of his writing as a species of intellectual property that entitled him to a professional status, hence his poems reveal not the presentation of a completed and unchanging self, but the palimpsest of a past self under revision as he evolves a new and still changing self.

Keywords:   redaction, revision, Petrarchism, Petrarch’s vernacular poetics, shifting identities

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