Campus News

Book re-examines Italian poem collection

Petrarch’s ‘Fragmenta’
Thomas E. Peterson
University of Toronto Press
Cloth or Ebook: $75

Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, a collection of lyric poems on sacred and profane love and other subjects, has traditionally been viewed as reflecting the conflicted nature of its author. However, award-winning author Thomas E. Peterson, a professor of Italian in UGA’s Romance languages department, argues that Petrarch’s Fragmenta is an ordered and coherent work unified by narrative and theological structures.

By concentrating on the poem’s reliance on Christian tenets and distinguishing between author, narrator and character, Peterson exposes the underlying narrative and theological unity of the work.

Building on recent Petrarch scholarship and broader studies of medieval poetics, poetic narrativity and biblical intertextuality, Peterson conducts a rigorous examination of the Fragmenta’s poetic language.