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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Neapolitan in Turin, and Paris

A Wilde boy

Quite soon -- more or less, when the Notes on Romeo and Juliet are over -- a new weekly column will start: "Turin-Paris," dealing with G. B. Marino's life and works before Adone (first draft 1616, final version 1623), that is, the time period between 1609 and 1617. We will, first of all, translate and comment passages from the Dicerie sacre (Sacred Orations) that he wrote in Turin, NW Italy, at the court of the Savoy Dukes: the speech of thanks when he was appointed a Knight of the Order of Saint Maurice, and two essays that supported the cultural and religious policy of the Savoys, especially with reference to the Sindone, the Holy Shroud.

He would then move to France in order to escape the clutches of the Pope, who insistently asked for a meeting with Marino so as to have an opportunity to talk about some debatable aspects in his works. According to some scholars, indeed, the puzzling fact that Marino had been jailed in Turin was not caused by some -- hard to believe -- conflict with Duke Charles Emmanuel, but was a stratagem that aimed at preventing an abduction to Rome. Anyway, once in Paris, Marino wrote a pamphlet called Sferza, "Whip," in defense of King Louis XIII against the Huguenot leaders. An interesting, however party, insight into the situation of Europe on the eve of the bloody, historically crucial Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).