By Richard Scholar, Alexis Tadié
The makes use of of fiction in early sleek Europe are way more different than is usually assumed through those that give some thought to fiction to be synonymous with the radical. The members to this quantity display the numerous position that fiction performs in early sleek eu tradition, not just in a number of its literary genres, but in addition in its formation of philosophical principles, political theories, and the legislation. the quantity explores those makes use of of fiction in a chain of interrelated case reports, starting from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution and interpreting the paintings of, between others, Montaigne, Corneille, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, and Diderot. It asks: the place does fiction dwell, and thrive? below what stipulations, and to what ends? It means that fiction is healthier understood now not as a style or a self-discipline yet, as a substitute, as a frontier: one who demarcates literary genres and disciplines of information and which, crucially, permits the flow of rules among them.
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Additional info for Fiction and the Frontiers of Knowledge in Europe, 1500–1800
Pietro Bembo, who read this first version in 1525, insisted that Fracastoro cut out the second fiction: it seemed to him that it spoiled the whole composition. 28 Fracastoro took absolutely no notice: he contented himself with enlarging his poem so that each of his stories had a book to itself. Book I recounts the misfortunes of a young Italian, whom the poet says he once met (ll. 382–412). Before tracing out the stages of his agony, he shows that the curse befell him because he had rejected love: this handsome, though rough and bashful, hunter, supposedly drawn from life, is thus a new kind of Hippolytus.
The account of the sailors, who belong both to contemporary reality and to the second-level reality of myth, reveals the close and complex links that can be formed between the two. While the myth appears to be re-oriented toward a distant past, it in fact proceeds from nothing more than a simple change of perspective. When the Spanish sailors land at Hispaniola (now Haiti), at the beginning of Book III, they feel they are entering a land that does not belong to their time. 31 Later they see the natives arrive, dark-skinned and half-naked, unarmed and carrying garlands as a sign of peace.
In this, he was partly influenced by Lucretius, according to whom the history of the world undergoes long cycles, separated by profound upheavals, and in which the same components are to be found, differently arranged. In his prose treatise on syphilis, in which he examines the immediate causes of contagion (in particular venereal causes, which are emphasized here more than in the poem),26 Fracastoro limits himself to saying briefly why he does not think the illness was brought back by Columbus’s sailors.