Ovid's poetry balances a genuine affection for this urbs with a constant, ironically inflected amusement at the snobbery, assumptions of sexual entitlement, and self-aggrandizing not to say, self-delusory antics of its urbane, sophisticated denizens. Hanning Author: Robert W Hanning Author: Robert Hanning Subject: Authority in literature Subject: Desire in literature. Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto were extremely attuned to the dynamics of this relationship, with Ovid suffering most from his comedic missteps. Each poet lived through exciting times Augustan Rome, late-medieval London, and high-Renaissance Italy, respectively and their outsider-insider status links them as memorable speakers of comedic truth to power. Comic poets are inspired best by the bittersweet nature of their art-the thrill of skewering the world's power elite while nevertheless being dependent on their support. To my students, as to me, the resultant high-wire act, in which fantasies of comic audacity seem often to court real rebuke and even disaster, is a central part of the achievement and ongoing attractiveness of these three great poets. Seriously, thank you, David, for all you have done for me and been to me over these many years.
Summary Comic poets are inspired best by the bittersweet nature of their art-the thrill of skewering the world's power elite while nevertheless being dependent on their support. Hanning, a native of New York City, taught medieval and Renaissance literature at Columbia University for forty-five years before his retirement in 2006. Can you credibly defend these poets against such charges? But then, at the exact midpoint of the Furioso, Ariosto has his amorous narrator claim that he is experiencing a lucid interval lucido intervallo , during which he can see clearly the damage that desire inflicts on him and all other lovers. Yet they also excelled at the dangerous game of skewering the elites on whom they depended for patronage. Series Title: Responsibility: Robert W. I am the profoundly grateful beneficiary of scholarship on and criticism of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto, and I have tried to indicate specific instances of indebtedness in my notes and bibliography.
Chaucer refers to himself as but a lewd compilatour of the labour of olde astrologiens in the Preface to his Treatise on the Astrolabe a navigational instrument Riverside Chaucer, gen. Yet they also excelled at the dangerous game of skewering the elites on whom they depended for patronage. He also documents the response of all three poets to the authority of cultural predecessors and poetic convention. My fondest hope is that as a result of reading these essays of appreciation and elucidation, the reader will be tempted to discover for him- or herself the pleasures of firsthand acquaintance with their subjects. For what defines the world of these comic writers is the fact of so much authority gathered in so few people, not diffused by universal suffrage or by the mass media and, now, the Internet. Contents: Ovid's amatory poetry: Rome in a comic mirror -- Chaucer: dealing with the authorities; or, Twisting the nose that feeds you -- Ariosto's Orlando Furioso: confusion multiply confounded; or, Astray in the forest of desire.
In the spirit of that seminar, then, my goal in the following chapters is a deeper, more satisfying intuition of how such poets go about constructing a world that simultaneously amuses, enlightens, and disturbs us—an exceptional achievement for which Renaissance theorists had a name: serio ludere, serious play. You must believe, O ideal audience now metamorphosed into what I hope will be an ideal, or at least tolerant, readership , that I pronounced Prof. Q: Finally, what would you most like the readers of your book should there be any to derive from the experience? Providing fresh perspectives on Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto within their rich historical moments, Serious Play isolates the elements that make their work so appealing centuries after they lived, observed, and wrote. These poets also rebelled against the authority of poetic influence in their work, remaking literary convention while, at the same time, challenging political power. Providing fresh perspectives on Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto within their rich historical moments, Serious Play isolates the elements that make their work so appealing centuries after they lived, observed, and wrote. But having been invited to deliver the thirteenth annual Leonard Hastings Schoff Lectures at Columbia University in October 2005, I decided, not without considerable trepidation, to share with an educated general audience my admiration and affection for three European poets whom I have come to know and love through decades of teaching them to undergraduates and graduates, primarily at Columbia University but also en passant at Yale, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and at the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College and Lincoln College, Oxford. On the basis of my understanding articulated early in the chapter on his amatory poetry that the social and sexual milieux of Ovid's Rome were in many ways similar to those of today's New York City—in both cases, the milieux in question represent only a tiny slice of a very large metropolitan pie—I have attempted to translate the passages I quote into a version of colloquial New York speech, often rendering the Latin quite freely but seeking throughout to be faithful to how I believe Ovid would have responded to partner and sexual satisfaction seeking, dating, and entering into, or escaping from, relationships as practiced in twenty-first-century Gotham.
Why did you choose to write about comic poets, and these three in particular? All of which is to say that the Ovidian comic mirror also reflects important truths—told, to be sure, with comic obliquity—about people metonymically, lovers and poets , their needs, and the settings in which. The resulting depictions of addled lovers and rattled rulers create a unique dynamic of trenchant critique wrapped in amusing, enlightening, and disturbing fantasy, an achievement hailed as serio ludere, serious play, by Renaissance theorists. Their audacity and acute insight are the very elements that make their work so appealing centuries after their subjects have stumbled off the stage. Since my three poets are men, I'll use the masculine pronoun in generalizing about premodern comic poetry; in the modern era, women novelists and, more recently, women stand-up comedians have successfully overthrown the male hegemony over funny business. Chaucer: Quotations from and references to The Book of the Duchess, The Parlement of Foules, Anelida and Arcite, The House of Fame, and The Legend of Good Women give the line numbers of these poems. I want to stress the word appreciations because it signifies that my desired target for this book is the educated, general reader of reasonably wide, indeed, catholic tastes.
Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto were extremely attuned to the dynamics of this relationship, with Ovid suffering most from his comedic missteps. Their audacity and acute insight are the very elements that make their work so appealing centuries after their subjects have stumbled off the stage. Rosand had made such a distinguished contribution a few years earlier. The House of Fame is divided into books, and the Legend into Prologue and separate tales, but in both cases the line numbering is consecutive. In the chapters that follow, then, I will attempt to characterize the themes of desire and authority as crises that function with cultural specificity to the moment in which, and audience for which, the poets wrote; as indices of the human condition conceived of, rightly or wrongly, as universal and timeless; and as literal or metaphorical representations of the difficult situation of the poet and his muse or vocation vis-á-vis the social and political powers on which his success, livelihood, and even personal safety depend. As I have taught, so have I learned, and these chapters are dedicated to all the students who have shared my enjoyment and expanded my understanding of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto, but especially to the participants in my graduate seminar on these poets—my first attempt at treating them all and exclusively in one course—in the fall 2004 semester in Columbia's Department of English and Comparative Literature.
Minnis, Medieval Theory of Authorship London: Scolar, 1984 , 190—210. His books include The Vision of History in Early Britain, The Individual in Twelfth-Century Romance, and The Lais of Marie de France, cotranslated with Joan M. As always, a special word of thanks is owed my wife, Professor Barbara Russano Hanning, of the City College of New York and the Ph. Ariosto: Quotations from the Orlando Furioso follow the third final edition of the poem published by Ariosto, which has forty-six books, or cantos. Richard Firth Green and other Chaucerian critics see in this strategy of negative self-presentation a risible mimesis of the poet's position vis-á-vis the court, the Crown, and the nobility to whom he turned for patronage and advancement; one could also argue that it plays out, at the metaphoric level of personal inferiority, the situation of the language English in which he addresses a court audience accustomed to seeking entertainment in French texts.
Belknap, and to his assistant, Ms. A member of the Columbia faculty is invited to deliver before a general audience three lectures on a topic of his or her choosing. Hanning, a native of New York City, taught medieval and Renaissance literature at Columbia University for forty-five years before his retirement in 2006. My goal is not to alert my readers to the current state of Ovidian, Chaucerian, or Ariostan scholarship but rather to explain, as clearly and persuasively—but also as entertainingly—as I can, why I find these great comic writers not only fun to read but also challenging to think about and with and ultimately deeply instructive on personal, social, and political issues, both of their times and places and of our own. Yet they also excelled at the dangerous game of skewering the elites on whom they depended for patronage. Ariosto's Orlando Furioso: Confusion Multiply Confounded; Or, Astray in the Forest of Desire In Conclusion or Inconclusion Epilogue Index Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto, premodern Europe's three greatest comic poets, found abundant cause for laughter in the foibles and follies of human desire. Yet they also excelled at the dangerous game of skewering the elites on whom they depended for patronage.