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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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Jeweler’s Daughter Sings for Doge

Jeweler’s Daughter Sings for Doge

Gaspara Stampa’s Entrepreneurial Poetics

(p.76) Chapter 3 Jeweler’s Daughter Sings for Doge
Petrarchism at Work

William J. Kennedy

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that Stampa belonged to an elite upper-middle-class literary culture, although she palpably refused to promote herself within it. In the absence of documents about the poet’s personal life, history has mythologized Stampa as a courtesan who sold herself along with poetry and music to clients whom she entertained with sonnets, songs, and sexual favors. Stampa’s emphasis upon her speaker’s personal life proved sensational in a society that valued discretion, less because of its frankly sexual content than because of its challenge to propriety. The poet’s open avoidance of self-promotion thus complements the aims of a social, cultural, moral, and economic revival underway since the 1540s.

Keywords:   Gaspara Stampa, literary culture, self-promotion, entrepreneurial poetics, economic revival

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