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Dynamic ReadingStudies in the Reception of Epicureanism$
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Brooke Holmes and W. H. Shearin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794959.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.89) 3 Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius
Source:
Dynamic Reading
Author(s):

Gerard Passannante

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794959.003.0004

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

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