The posts on this blog represent the fruit of the collaborative textual analysis of the Petrarch Reading Group at the University of Oxford. Founded in January 2011 by Dr. Nicola Gardini, the group consists of staff and postgraduate students mainly from the Italian Sub-Faculty, bolstered by members of the Faculties of History and English with an interest in Petrarch’s vernacular poetry.
The Petrarch Reading Group aims to interpret with the highest degree of intellectual involvement Petrarch’s Canzoniere.
All possible kinds of suggestions, interpretations and associations are not only welcome but encouraged. All bibliographical references are banned from the discussion. The purpose of the Reading Group is a reformation of the usual academic textual exegesis by means of a purely direct act of “in-depth reading”. All pre-fashioned critical practices, theory included, are to be rejected as strange to the spirit of the Reading Group. Imagination, creativity, and unbiassed reactiveness to the words of Petrarch and their various senses (semantic, metrical, cultural, metaphorical, philosophical, grammatical, intertextual etc.) are going to be the main tools and ends of the Reading Group. The participants want to sharpen their critical sensibility and their abilities to observe literature by engaging profoundly and directly with the textual complexity of such a crucial literary achievement as the Canzoniere.
The Reading Group intends to cultivate a purely un-utilitarian, passionately open-minded, and intellectually non-conformist approach to literary knowledge, and considers linguistic analysis one of the highest forms of aesthetic pleasure and ethical engagement.
Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment.
(Blog maintained by Mike Hodder, Balliol College, Oxford)