Books at Banquet: Commodities, Canon, And Culture in Giulio Cesare Croce's Convito Universale (Critical Essay) - Annali d'Italianistica

Books at Banquet: Commodities, Canon, And Culture in Giulio Cesare Croce's Convito Universale (Critical Essay)

By Annali d'Italianistica

  • Release Date - Published: 1998-01-01
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: Annali d'Italianistica
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Books at Banquet: Commodities, Canon, And Culture in Giulio Cesare Croce's Convito Universale (Critical Essay) Annali d'Italianistica read online review & book description:

For Gregory Lucente, in memoriam. As David Forgacs and Robert Lumley note in the introduction to their recent collection of essays on cultural studies, the term cultura in Italy has strong associations with education and literacy, and more generally with 'print culture.' (1) Given Italy's seminal role in the definition of 'culture' along these very lines, one might anticipate that the peninsula's early efforts at linguistic standardization, its vigorous formation of a literary canon to project a "national" identity, and its employment of the nascent Cinquecento publishing industry to support these endeavors would fall somewhere under the volume's revisionist gaze. But such is not the case. Italian Cultural Studies, in fact, not only features no discussion of Italy's early modernity. It covers no terrain whatsoever for its broad "cluster of disciplines" (1) before the second World War; and the historical vanishing point for the chronology offered at the volume's end is the year 1900. If we may agree upon Forgacs and Lumley's list of the concerns that unify work in cultural studies--the regard for "culture as a set of signifying practices and symbolic forms," attention to "a wide variety of cultural materials," the avoidance of "prior evaluative rankings of high and low," and the attempt "to bring new theoretical considerations to bear on the study of culture" (1)--we must marvel at the odd confinement of the volume's scope to the current century.

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