Sunday, June 16, 2013

It all began 420 years ago

In 1593 Torquato Tasso's long poem Gerusalemme Conquistata (Jerusalem Conquered) was published. It was the remake of his more famous Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered), first published in 1581 --- or rather, the reboot of it --- or even better, the only true version, since the 1581 book was a pirate edition, against the author's will. At that time there were no copyright laws of any sort.

The Conquistata is usually described as a worsened version of the Liberata: a bigoted and boring flood of words, one-Divine-Comedy-and-a-half long. By studying it a bit more carefully, it turns out that the 1593 poem wasn't and couldn't be understood, then, for the simple reason that Tasso was some five centuries ahead of time. But NOW we have the instruments to get it and appreciate it as it deserves.

This is what we'll try to, by means of original (maybe the first ever) translations and detailed comments. Welcoming the lost pilgrims who will bump into these pages.