Lettura... sopra un sonetto della gelosia di mons. Dalla Casa. Fatta nella celebratissima Accademia de gl’Infiammati a Padova

Autore VARCHI, Benedetto (1503-1565)-DELLA CASA, Giovanni (1503-1556)-SANSOVINO, Francesco ed. (1521-1586).
Tipografo Venturino Ruffinelli
Dati tipografici Mantova, 
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Lettura

In 8vo (mm 143x93). Carte 19, manca l'ultima carta bianca. Segnatura: A-E4. Marca xilografica al frontespizio. Antichi restauri e rinforzi marginali al frontespizio e alle prime carte, qualche lieve arrossatura, margine superiore corto. Legatura del primo Ottocento in mezza pergamena con punte, carta marmorizzata ai piatti, titolo in oro su tassello in marocchino rosso al dorso. Nota manoscritta al frontespizio.

Edizione originale della lettura che il Varchi tenne a Padova presso l'Accademia degli Infiammati di un sonetto del Della Casa sulla gelosia. L'opera si apre con una dedica di Francesco Sansovino a Gaspara Stampa, datata Venezia, 26 febbraio 1545, e si chiude con un sonetto di Baldassarre Stampa, fratello di Gaspara.

“Given the centrality of the theme of jealousy in [Gaspra Stampa's] Rime - almost a sixth of them – it is illuminating to look at how Stampa's contemporary and friend Benedetto Varchi analyzed this emotion. In the small octavo volume of his lecture, Della Casa's sonnet, which Varchi is said to have read loud to his audience of Infiammati, begins: Cura che di timor ti nutri, & cresci, / e tosto fede ai tuoi sospetti acquisti, / Et mentre con la fiamma il gelo mesci, / Tutto'l regno d'amor turbi, & contristi. (Care, you who feed and grow fat on fear, / And quickly win belief for your suspicions, / And while you mingle flame with ice, / You disturb and sadden all Love's kingdom.) “Care” may seem a rather vague term here, but Varchi explains that Della Casa uses it to lead the reader gradually to understand jealousy as an obsession thourgh its actions, as Ariosto does in Orlando Furioso. Varchi also praises the “gravitas” of this first line. The poet continues by ordering Cura to return to Cocytus and the tearful, bitter ice of “l'Inferno” and ends by asking this cruel figure what worse she can do, having filled his veins with venom and his mind with “larve”, which Varchi explains as “shades, or specters of the damned”… At the end of Varchi's little book Pietrasanta set a sonnet by Gaspara Stampa's brother Baldassar, “Cura, che sempre vigilante, desta / A persuadermi'l mal, di timor m'empi” (“Care, always vigilant and eager / To persuade me of bad things, you fill me with fear”), in which he interweaves Varchi's various interpretations of what Della Casa says about jealousy… [Varchi] defines suspicion as the essence of jealousy… Nor is jealousy limited to men. Women also suffer from jealousy; in fact they are more prone to it: “havendo naturalmente manco prudenza, et consiglio, è forza che si diano in preda, & più si lasciano vincere da questa furia, che gl'huomini” (1v: “having by nature less prudence and good sense, they necessarily succumb more easily and let themselves be conquered by this madness more than men do”). This last remark belongs more to Aristotelian misogyny than to the chivalrous politeness of Sansovino's dedication to Stampa, in which he praises her “purgatissimo giudicio… che di gran lunga avanzi la lode commune” (“highly refined taste, which exceeds by far the praise it is given by everyone”). But Varchi's analisys of jealousy has striking relevance for Stampa's poems, so many of which turn around “ dubbio” and “inquietudine”, suspicion and anxiety. In a circular literary relay, Varchi's derives axioms about jealousy from poets – Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Della Casa, and tellers of stories ancient and modern – and Stampa as a poet affirms the truth of what they say” (A.R. Jones, Voi e Tu, Love and Law, Gaspara Stampa' Post-Petrarchan Jealousy, in “Rethinking Gaspara Stampa in the Canon of Renaissance Poetry”, U. Falkeid & A.A. Feng, eds.,Abingdon-on-Thames, 2015).

Edit 16, 46185; R. Kelso, Doctrine for the lady, Urbana, 1956, nr. 837.

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