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The Birth of the Modern Mind : Self, Consciousness, and the Invention of the Sonnet - Paul Oppenheimer

The Birth of the Modern Mind

Self, Consciousness, and the Invention of the Sonnet

Hardcover

Published: 6th July 1989
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This revolutionary study presents new facts and an original theory about the origin of the thought and literature that may be considered "modern." Using fifty-one new translations of sonnets from four languages spanning seven centuries, Oppenheimer argues that "modern" thought and literature were born with the invention of the sonnet in 13th-century Italy. In revealing the sonnet as the first lyric form since the fall of the Roman Empire meant not for music or performance but for silent reading, the book demonstrates that the sonnet was the first modern literary form deliberately intended to portray the self in conflict and to explore self-consciousness. The wide-ranging essay of Part I traces the influences of the sonnet, as invented by Giacomo da Lentino, combining historical fact with the history of ideas and literary criticism. Part II illustrates, in bilingual format, the sonnet's growing appeal and variety during the centuries that followed with translations from Italian, German, French, and Spanish. The selection presents sonnets by more than thirty-five poets, among them Dante, Petrarch, Goethe, Rilke, Ronsard, ValA(c)ry, Ibarbourou, and Lorca. The concluding section discusses previous scholarship, offers proofs of the sonnet's introspective and silent inventions, and for the first time establishes the source of the form, in Platonic-Pythagorean mathematics.

"Oppenheimer's project is very important for anyone interested in poetics. He treats the sonnet not as a genre so much as a mode of thought, which makes his an original study of the sonnet's role in the development of 'the modern mind.' The world he recreates is a complex blend of classical, medieval, and modern understanding. Oppenheimer brilliantly dramatizes the way thought and the context for thought are mutually dependent. He demonstrates by scholarship and the example of a series of fine translations that for the modern mind the sonnet has been both barometric and constitutive. Anyone interested in the Renaissance, the sonnet, comparative literature, or poetics will find this a useful study."--Wyatt Prunty, The Johns Hopkins University "A learned, well-tempered and fascinating book about the sonnet....A cunningly constructed homage to its ostensible subject."--Chapman "Recommended for college and university collections treating poetry and literary history."--Choice "Oppenheimer's project is very important for anyone interested in poetics. He treats the sonnet not as a genre so much as a mode of thought, which makes his an original study of the sonnet's role in the development of 'the modern mind.' The world he recreates is a complex blend of classical, medieval, and modern understanding. Oppenheimer brilliantly dramatizes the way thought and the context for thought are mutually dependent. He demonstrates by scholarship and the example of a series of fine translations that for the modern mind the sonnet has been both barometric and constitutive. Anyone interested in the Renaissance, the sonnet, comparative literature, or poetics will find this a useful study."--Wyatt Prunty, The Johns Hopkins University "A learned, well-tempered and fascinating book about the sonnet....A cunningly constructed homage to its ostensible subject."--Chapman "Recommended for college and university collections treating poetry and literary history."--Choice

The Birth of the Modern Mind: New Facts and a Theoryp. 1
Sonnets in the European Traditionp. 41
A Note on the Translationsp. 43
Italian Sonnets
Giacomo da Lentinop. 48
Jacopo Mostaccip. 58
Pier della Vignap. 60
Giacomo da Lentinop. 62
Federico IIp. 64
Dante Alighierip. 66
Francesco Petrarcap. 70
Michelangelo Buonarrotip. 74
Benvenuto Cellinip. 76
Faustina Maratti Zappip. 78
Gabriele D'Annunziop. 80
Umberto Sabap. 82
German Sonnets
Andreas Gryphiusp. 86
Gottfried August Burgerp. 88
Johann Wolfgang von Goethep. 90
August von Platenp. 94
Heinrich Heinep. 98
Ricarda Huchp. 100
Rainer Maria Rilkep. 102
Georg Traklp. 112
Marie Louise Kaschnitzp. 114
French Sonnets
Maurice Scevep. 118
Pierre de Ronsardp. 120
Joachim du Bellayp. 122
Gerard de Nervalp. 124
Paul Verlainep. 126
Arthur Rimbaudp. 128
Albert Samainp. 130
Paul Valeryp. 132
Vincent Musellip. 134
Spanish Sonnets
Juan Boscanp. 138
Luis de Gongorap. 140
Lope de Vegap. 142
Miguel de Unamunop. 146
Antonio Machadop. 148
Juana de Ibarbouroup. 152
Federico Garcia Lorcap. 154
Notes on the Poets and Poemsp. 157
Scholarly Background: The Origin of the Sonnetp. 169
Bibliographyp. 191
Indexp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195056921
ISBN-10: 0195056922
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 6th July 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.7 x 14.7  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.45