The enduring "black legend" of the Italian Counter-Reformation, which has held sway in both scholarly and popular culture, maintains that the Council of Trent ushered in a cultural dark age in Italy, snuffing out the spectacular creative production of the Renaissance. As a result, the decades following Trent have been mostly overlooked in Italian literary studies, in particular. The thirteen essays of Innovation in the Italian Counter-Reformation present a radical reconsideration of literary production in post-Tridentine Italy. With particular attention to the much-maligned tradition of spiritual literature, the volume’s contributors weave literary analysis together with religion, theater, art, music, science, and gender to demonstrate that the literature of this period not only merits study but is positively innovative. Contributors include such renowned critics as Virginia Cox and Amedeo Quondam, two of the leading scholars on the Italian Counter-Reformation.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Acknowledgments Foreword by Amedeo Quondam Introduction
Part I: Foundations Re-Thinking Counter-Reformation Literature by Virginia Cox
Scientific Discovery in Florentine Painting of the Counter-Reformation: Cigoli's Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1590) and Stigmatizations of St. Francis (1596 and 1602) by Lisa Bourla
Part II: Gender The Armed Maiden of the Sixteenth Century and the Unmaking of Tasso's Clorinda by Gerry Milligan
The Fair Warrior in the City of Florence: Maddalena Salvetti's Poems to Christine of Lorraine by Anna Wainwright
Devotion, Desire, and Masculinity in the Spiritual Verse of Angelo Grillo by Shannon McHugh
Part III: Theater Performing Drama: Theater as Spiritual Practice in the Works of Fabio Glissenti by Eugenio Refini
"Deggio ferma tener la santa fede": Representing the Priest in Pastoral Drama in Counter-Reformation Italy by Lisa Sampson
Playing Milan: Secular Drama, Sacred Reform, and the Family Andreini by Sarah Gwyneth Ross
Part IV: Bologna: A City Case Study Bologna, Marian City in the Drawings of Francesco Cavazzoni (1559-1616) by Gabriella Zarri
Violence in Early Modern Bologna: A Provisional Appraisal by Monica Calabritto
Part V: Emotion and Expression Tasso's Poetic Self-Commentary, His Dialogues, and a New Philosophical Syncretism: The Last Phase of the Renaissance Love Treatises by Armando Maggi
Girolamo Mei, Early Opera, and Experience by Joseph Perna
"Sottoporsi agli occhi del mondo nelle stampe": Sarra Copia Sulam and the Venetian Press by Lynn Lara Westwater
Shannon McHugh is Assistant Professor of Italian and French at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Anna Wainwright is Assistant Professor of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies at the University of New Hampshire.
"The essays in this collection aim at revisiting and problematizing in an interdisciplinary context the output of the Counter-Reformation period. As the brilliant contribution by Virginia Cox argues, the time has come to reevaluate the output of both men and women of the period, and to make room for the highly forgotten religious production. The other essays in the book maintain that it is time to stop judging the period as one of cultural involution. Instead we should start seeing it as one of creative innovation, a period in which the response to the Church’s desire for purging sensuality and licentiousness fostered the rewriting of various genres into more spiritual venues."
~Valeria Finucci, Duke University, author of The Prince’s Body: Vincenzo Gonzaga and Renaissance Medicine