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Taipei: Cecco Angiolieri and the eclectic poetry of Lorenzo de’ Medici

After last year’s great success with public readings of Dante, in 2012 the Dolce Stil Novo once again played a starring role at the International Book Fair in Taipei.

Taiwan’s reading public were treated to the comic-realist poetry of Cecco Angiolieri and the more eclectic works (carnival-inspired rhymes and songs) of Lorenzo de’ Medici. A choice that has tempted Chinese-speaking intellectuals and publishers to translate more Italian literature, given the growing interest by readers.

The readings included Angiolieri’s most famous sonnet (‘S’i’ fosse foco, arderei ‘l mondo’), and the equally well-known musical adaptation by Fabrizio De Andre’, dating from 1968. Prof. Umberto Bresciani, lecturer in Italian literature at the National University of Taiwan with a Masters in Chinese literature, helped provide a brief overview of the content and context of the poet’s other sonnets and Lorenzo il Magnifico’s works.