Beyond Definition – Elusive Knowledge in Poetics of the Cinquecento

Subproject by Şirin Dadaş

   

This subproject analyses poetological knowledge in Italian poetics of the 16th century and the institutionalization of this genre, which is genuinely oriented toward the conceptualization and teaching of poetry. The guiding assumption is that the specificity of these poetics lies in the attempt to theoretically assess a practical aesthetic knowledge and in the regulation of an epistemic object whose regularity has limits that are pondered partily explicitly and partily implicitly. Thus, the poetological knowledge and its epistemic properties as well as the discursivity and mediality of its determination are at the center of this study. Particular attention is paid to the elusive mode, neglected until now, that shows in the recourse to aesthetic categories (for instance bellezza, dolcezza, leggiadria, costume) and the specific ways of these poetological texts to deal with their subject. It is the goal of this subproject to find out about indefinite notions and blank spaces in normative grids and to revise established conceptions of the system of rules and standards of Early Modern aesthetics through the study of selected vernacular poetics (Trissino, Daniello, Minturno, Castelvetro). Connecting to the insights of the research until now, the project accounts for the respective roles played by the different ancient and Italian model authors in their dealing with poetological knowledge and asks if or to what extent they create spaces for individual creativity within that system of rules.