The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
A confusion of harmonies
by Eric Ormsby
On Petrach and Luis de Góngora y Argote.
was right!Support The
Petrarch was a master at keeping his obsessions fresh. In the 366 poems of what he entitled the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and which we know as his Canzoniere or “Songbook,” he rings every imaginable change on his near half-century passion for the elusive Laura. Late in life he arranged the poems in dramatic sequence as a chronicle of his “lost days.” Those perduti giorni were the days, the all too many days, which he spent entangled in that mad pursuit. Remarkably, though there are inevitably longueurs in such a work, there are no weak poems; the intensity, and the elegance of expression, remains at the highest pitch throughout. Petrarch described his life as a “long wandering in a blind labyrinth.” If his obsessions remain fresh, that may be because at each twist of the maze, it was not the golden-haired Laura that he glimpsed but the secret Minotaur squatting defiantly in his own divided ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 April 2012, on page 17
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/A-confusion-of-harmonies-7318
E-mail to friend
by Eric Ormsby
On “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
John Maynard Keynes’s revisionist history of World War I has had enduring—and harmful—consequences.
The complicated, often conflicted, life of Alexander Herzen.
by Marco Grassi
Summer exhibitions in Florence and Verona reconsider the work of Pontormo, Rosso & Veronese.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"