"Machiavelli and Poetry" by Ascoli and Capodivacca

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Aug 5, 2019 07:32
"Machiavelli and Poetry" by Ascoli and Capodivacca

This article talks about the poetic works of Machiavelli. Most critics have seen in them only a continuation of his political and historical works; on the contrary, Ascoli and Capodivacca claim for another interpretation of them: they believe Machiavelli was a full fledged poet and that his poetic efforts show both literary inter-textual and intra-textual complexity. Vary are the references to Dante and other poets of his days as Ariosto and Burchello as vary are the connection with his other works. Machiavelli himself claims to be a poet; he defines himself as an 'historian comedian and tragedian' in a letter to his old friend Guicciardini . The themes treated by Machiavelli are often mutually interconnected; although the solutions that he employ in his texts, always respect and adhere to the stylistic conventions proper to the genre employed. In a satyric poem called 'Asino', he uses the concept of 'fortune' to unify these two themes, only apparently divergent. Such a concept (of fortune) will probably sounds familiar to anyone who has some knowledge of his biography; in fact, he experiences an abrupt shift in fortune as Medici family took over Soderini political power.
Ascoli and Capodivacca claim that is the Machiavelli concept of 'effectual truth' to demand "that we account for human fantasia and give the literary imagination its due" and believe that "the writing of history is not the opposite of poetic imagination, but integral to it" . In other words, with the change of circumstances, truth changes and varies as much as the representation that we give of it; in this sense truth needs to obey the poetic rules of imagination and fantasia in order to remains true to itself.
Clearly, the two authors do not believe in the common division of Machiavelli works in political and poetics; they do not think that his poetic words are only a continuation of the political or the historical ones but claim for an independent consideration of them.
Unlike the preceding article, the perspective this one assumes, does not operate a division between 'The Prince' and other Machiavelli`s works; the segretario fiorentino rich use of metaphors and images in his most notable works does not denote a lack in clarity of language or a rhetorical ambiguity.