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Petrarch's Humanism and the Care of the Self

£35.99

  • Author: Gur Zak, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Date Published: February 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107689596

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About the Authors
  • Petrarch was one of the founding fathers of Renaissance humanism, yet the nature and significance of his ideas are still widely debated. In this book, Gur Zak examines two central issues in Petrarch's works - his humanist philosophy and his concept of the self. Zak argues that both are defined by Petrarch's idea of care for the self. Overcome by a strong sense of fragmentation, Petrarch turned to the ancient idea that philosophy can bring harmony and wholeness to the soul through the use of spiritual exercises in the form of writing. Examining his vernacular poetry and his Latin works from both literary and historical perspectives, Zak explores Petrarch's attempts to use writing as a spiritual exercise, how his spiritual techniques absorbed and transformed ancient and medieval traditions of writing, and the tensions that arose from his efforts to care for the self through writing.

    • A new interpretation of the humanism of one of the founding fathers of the Renaissance
    • Highly interdisciplinary - examines both Petrarch's vernacular poetry and Latin works - and will be of interest to scholars and students of literature, history, philosophy, and religion
    • The first full-length attempt to incorporate the insights of Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot in their works on the 'care of the self' in the ancient world to the study of Renaissance humanism
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107689596
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The indeterminate self: writing, desire, and temporality in Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta
    2. The crisis of the narrative self
    3. Petrarch's humanism and the ethics of care of the self
    4. Ovid, Augustine, and the limits of the ethics of care of the self
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Gur Zak, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Gur Zak is Lecturer in Comparative Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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