For the category of the Other and the subaltern, see Young’s Postcolonialism, particularly part 5, ‘Formations of Postcolonial Theory

For the category of the Other and the subaltern, see Young’s Postcolonialism, particularly part 5, ‘Formations of Postcolonial Theory

Notes to pages 87–8 211 8 The ‘poesia rusticana’ best site originates in the strambotti (one-stanza poems in hendecasyllables, usually an octave or sextet), one of the most ancient Italian popular verse forms, and rispetti (stanza of eight verses usually with the following rhymes abababcc

altern has become synonym for any marginalized or disempowered minority group, particularly on the grounds of gender and ethnicity’ (354). ‘ The only full-size portraits I found in medieval Italian vernacular were in the anonymous ballads of ‘poesia giullaresca,’ and in Poliziano’s ‘Una vecchia mi vagheggia.’ Thanks to the longer format of the ballad, these poems provide more detailed descriptions of female ugliness. The descriptive convention of effictio or descriptio extrinsica does not appear in the poetry of Dante and in the Stilnovo, despite the fact that Brunetto Latini provided in his Tresor the most important and influential examples of descriptio pulchritudinis in his elaborate description of Iseult’s beauty (Dempsey, 56). Pozzi develops these concepts in two articles (‘Codici, stereotipi’ and ‘Il ritratto della donna’) that are summed up in ‘Temi, topoi, stereotipi.’ In Arts and Beauty in the Middle Ages Umberto Eco delineates precisely proportion, light, and colour as the founding elements in the medieval aesthetics. The eleven stanzas containing Emilia’s description are translated into English in Charles Dempsey (59–60). In Ameto feminine portraits of the six nymphs all focus on harmony, balance, and proportion. Many female literary portraits are so similar because of their adherence to rhetorical norms and their imitation of conventional models such as Boccaccio’s; see, for example, Luigi Pulci’s Antea, Poliziano’s Simonetta, or Ariosto’s Alcina. Dempsey detects this same aspect in the pictorial representation of the female goddesses in Sandro Botticelli’s painting Primavera (60). For more on female descriptions of literary beauty in Italian vernacular, see Mario Martelli and Paolo Orvieto (Pulci medievale). The numbers in brackets refer to the conventional numbering of poems in Petrarch’s Canzoniere. Vickers (‘Diana Described,’ 96) underscores the fragmentary nature of Laura’s portrait, which is impossible to find in one single poem, but rather is scattered throughout the entire Canzoniere. The quotations, concerning Laura’s body parts are just a sample; for more quotations see Renier, pp. 103–5. Female beauty is sanctioned in Bembo’s Asolani (1505), where the woman’s body is described as colour, perfection, and proportion in terms similar to those of Boccaccio. See, for example, how Gismondo describes female beauty in book 2, chapter 22. On female beauty and decorum in Castiglione’s Cortegiano, see especially book 3, devoted to women. For the importance of beauty and for the role of feminine beauty in Renaissance culture, see Cropper’s introduction to Concepts of Beauty in Renaissance Art.

The adventures of Nencia became so popular that many anonymous spin-offs followed every aspect of Nencia’s life; Ferrario published a canzonetta rusticale ‘In morte della Nencia,’ and Bernardo Giambullari also composed stanzas about the death of Nencia

) Its flourishing in fourteenth- and sixteenthcentury Italy, had in the past led critics such as Carducci to believe that strambotto might have exclusively Italian origin. Cirese has shown that strambotto is one of the most ancient poetic forms, found in Western Romance vernaculars as early as the twelfth century. For precursory evidence of the Nencia tradition in Boccaccio, one should refer to the eto; see Fido. 9 Giulio Ferrario (Poesie pastorali e rusticali) collects chronologically some of the most significant texts in the rustic tradition, among them Anton Francesco Doni’s Stanze dello Sparpaglia alla Silvana sua innamorata and Francesco Baldovini’s Lamento di Cecco da Varlungo. 10 We have four versions of the Nencia: (V) = Vulgata in 50 octaves; (A) = Volpi in 20 octaves; (P) = Patetta in 39 octaves; (CN) = Messina in 12 octaves. Version (A) in 20 octaves is considered the original of which all the others would be remakes and further expansions. For the much-debated issue of Nencia’s authorship and various editions, see the Nencia da Barberino edited by Rossella Bessi, with a lengthy introduction and including all four versions. 11 Orvieto and Brestolini see in ‘testi nenciali’ the convergence of medieval comic ingredients of the pastorelle and the ‘contrasti d’amore’: rejection of courtly ideals, fulfilled sexuality, the male lover bragging and boasting, obscenity, and language degradation (109). 12 Other themes, which De Robertis traces back to Latin pastoral and bucolic literature, are the lament for unrequited love, the cruelty of the beloved, the prayer and invectives against the woman, the enumeration of the presents Vallera is willing to offer her, and the qualities that should make him attractive to the girl. Perhaps the most significant text to be added to the four versions of the Nencia is the Stanze villanesche, published by Domenico De Robertis, a series of ‘rispetti nenciali’ that constitute the largest nucleus (55 stanzas) of original material and show a distinctive Sienese influence; for De Robertis they mark the shift from the Nencian to the rustic genre, so popular in the sixteenth century. Longhi (Poeti del cinquecento, 724) believes that the Stanze villanesche are very close in time to Berni’s two ‘Capitoli’ to his ‘innamorata’ and to Strascino’s ‘Capitoli’ for his ‘dama.’

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