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Friday, May 4, 2018

Turin-Paris: Let the music begin!

by Artefatotattoo (website)

The second of G. B. Marino's Dicerie sacre is the second in both senses, both chronologically and in the final structure of the text, that includes three "sermons." A quite long essay, some 150 pages in the version published in Italy in the BIT&S in 2014, this Diceria is divided in four parts, and seems to have passed through a complex editorial work, possibly before, during, and after the mysterious 14-month imprisonment (April 1611 to June 1612) of Marino in Turin for some still unclear reason.

The subject is quite experimental even according to Baroque standards, when exceptions were the rule. There is one subject being dealt with under one umbrella-metaphor; what strikes is the matching of the two elements. In fact, Marino expounds the seven sentences uttered by Jesus on the cross, and likens them to music, the most sublime music ever heard on earth. While doing so, he also provides a lot of data on the 17th century theory of music.

Jesus' last seven parole ("words," as they are often referred to; actually, sentences) are a frequent theme in Catholic books of devotion, though it is a debatable procedure from the viewpoint of Biblical exegesis insofar as it mixes passages from the four Gospels, that were originally set in different contexts and with different purposes. Not even the order of the seven sentences remains the same from one author to another. Anyway, it will prove exciting to have a look at the theology of this Baroque 'preacher' who was not a priest, was admired throughout Europe, and in trouble with the Vatican.