By Mark Davie
Byron, in Don Juan, called Pulci (1432?84) ?sire of the half-serious rhyme?, and modelled his style on Pulci?s major work, the Morgante. The phrase identifies the ambivalent quality of Pulci?s verse, which was his distinctive legacy to the ?romantic epic? of the renaissance, a genre he effectively initiated. Half-Serious Rhymes examines the nature of that ambivalence, tracing its origins in the circumstances in which Pulci wrote and the conflicting expectations of his audience at a time of rapid cultural change; more generally, it seeks to increase our understanding of Pulci?s poetic technique, which inevitably brings it into the debate about his relation to and use of his sources (most conspicuously the anonymous Orlando Lauren-Ziano).
Publication Date: 12/24/1997