chapter  11
13 Pages

Reading modern authors: Aretino as host and Speroni’s Dialogo dell’amore


There is no doubt that, if one heard mention of ‘the words of Ariosto’ or of Machiavelli and Castiglione, not to mention Bembo, it would be natural to think immediately of words destined for the written page. I do not think, however, that the same would happen if the author in question were Pietro Aretino. In his case it would probably be other connections that sprang to mind, and it would be public scenes that were evoked, of course crowded and noisy ones, even shouted, and surely not the rapt and aseptic scene of the study. It is in light of such an assumption that I intend to verify the hypothesis according to which not only are enduring and profound traces of the culture of the voice and orality found in Aretino’s career and writings, but it is precisely upon that culture that the resounding success of his very special career was founded.