GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Jürgen Pieters & Ruben Celani

Time: 21 November 2018, 2-4 pm
Place: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, Room “Freddy Mortier”

Jürgen Pieters (UGent)
Literature and consolation: fictions of comfort

Rijksmuseum Een lezende man anon. 1660

In my talk, I would like to present the outline of a book project that I have submitted with Edinburgh University Press. I will focus on the conceptual framework of the book, in which I hope to correlate a contemporary concern with the pragmatics of literary reading (‘bibliotherapy’, and the often voiced idea that books are there to bring comfort) with a historical analysis of this age-old critical topos.

Image reference: Anonymous, A man reading, c. 1660. Canvas. Holding institution: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Ruben Celani (UGent)
Fashioning personae in 16th century books of secrets

The production of the so-called books of secrets (collections of recipes on a wide range of technical subjects, but especially on practical medicine) was not a complete novelty to the 16th century Italian book market: but it was only after the publication of the Secreti del reverendo Donno Alessio Piemontese (1555), that it became one of the most popular genres in the late Renaissance. One of the factors that undoubtedly contributed to this success was the keen use of rhetorical and marketing strategies: among those, a prominent position has to be assigned to the fashioning of appealing personae. After briefly considering the multiple meanings of this word and its connections with the concept of authority, my talk will focus on which personae were fashioned in the most widespread Italian books of secrets, and especially on the strategies adopted in order to craft them, providing examples from the texts considered.

Image reference (left): Portrait of Leonardo FioravantiEngraving from his Tesoro della vita humana (Venice, heirs of Melchior Sessa, 1570).
Image reference (right): Niccolò Nelli, Portrait of Girolamo Ruscelli, 1566. Engraving.