The Structure of Petrarch`s Canzoniere - A Chronological, Psychological and Stylistic Analysis

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Examination of the chronology of the poems of Part 1 of Petrarch's Canzoniereconsidered with reference to the Catastrophe Theory.

This study has two principal aims: first, to establish a structure and chronology for the First Part of Petrarch's Canzoniere, which involves both traditional scholarship and a new application of catastrophe theory to the psychology of unrequited love; and, second, to examine the evolution of Petrarch's style, symbolic modes, prosody and language in the light of the new perspectives obtained. In the process, Professor Jones provides a substantial re-assessment of the Canzoniere, in which he finds a factual and emotional realism in Petrarch's responses to his relationship with Laura. The catastrophe theory posits a cyclical structure in relationships of unrequited love, and the author detects six lyrical cycles in thechronological evolution of the collection. Given certain conditions Professor Jones demonstrates that it is possible to apply this methodology to any other long series of undated love-poems. Professor FREDERIC J. JONESwas Professor of Italian Studies, University of Wales, Cardiff, from 1966 to 1989.

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