Chapter

Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius

Gerard Passannante

in Dynamic Reading

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199794959
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949694 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794959.003.0004

Series: Classical Presences

Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius

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Gerard Passannante’s contribution, “Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius,” explores the reception of Epicurean pleasure in the early sixteenth century in the crucible of loss and melancholy. By carefully following the digressions that repeatedly take us away from the Lucretian text in the first commentary edition of the De Rerum Natura, published by Gianbattista Pio in 1511, Passannante provides an exemplary demonstration of the interaction of philology and affective response, love of text and the bittersweet pleasures of Lucretius’s lessons on disaster. As Passannante declares, these digressions must not be seen as minor asides, but rather as “a crucial entry into the mental world of the poem” as it was taking shape at the birth of humanism.

Keywords: Lucretius; renaissance humanism; Giambattista Pio; commentary; grief; digression

Chapter.  10064 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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