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Book Launch: “The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena” by Konrad Eisenbichler

February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – 6:30pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Free admission
Infoline: 416-921-3802 ext. 221

“In The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena, Konrad Eisenbichler analyzes the work of Sienese women poets, in particular, Aurelia Petrucci, Laudomia Forteguerri, and Virginia Salvi, during the first half of the sixteenthcentury up to the fall of Siena in 1555. Eisenbichler sets forth a complex and original interpretation of the experiences of these three educated noblewomen and their contributions to contemporary culture in Siena by looking at the emergence of a new lyric tradition and the sonnets they exchanged among themselves and with their male contemporaries. Through the analysis of their poems and various book dedications to them, Eisenbichler reveals the intersection of poetry, politics, and sexuality that characterized Siena’s literary environment during the late Renaissance. Eisenbichler also examines other little known women poets and their relationship to the cultural environment of Siena, underlining the exceptional role of the city of Siena as the most important center of women’s writing in the first half of the sixteenth century in Italy, and probably in all of Europe.

The Sword and the Pen has received an Honorable Mention from the 2012 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies of the Modern Language Association of America.”

Copies will be available for buying and signing.


February 19, 2013
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