Otium et negotium. Reading processes and their cultural backgrounds in early Italian and German humanism

Stolz, Michael (15 July 2015). Otium et negotium. Reading processes and their cultural backgrounds in early Italian and German humanism (Unpublished). In: Reading Books and Prints as Cultural Objects. Freiburg Institute of Advances Studies, Freiburg, Breisgau. 15.–17.07.2015.

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Reading and reading habits have radically changed in the digital age. Readers are no longer physically bound to textual objects and libraries, they deal with texts by copying, altering, and annotating them, and they mix established textual forms with other semiotic systems such as pictograms, icons and images. These circumstances also provoke a renewed research interest in the history of reading. In this talk, I will concentrate on reading processes as to how they were enacted and practised in early Italian and German humanism. I will start with some paradigmatic scenes described in Petrarch’s letters (among others the famous visit of the Mont Ventoux, where Petrarch, after having enjoyed a spectacular panorama, withdraws into the contemplative reading of St-Augustine). The transmission of Petrarch’s writings in humanist circles of Southern Germany (e.g. with the Schedel and Gossembrot families in Nurnberg, Augsburg and Strasburg) will then lead to specific reading practices documented in manuscripts that once belonged to coherent libraries and are nowadays spread all over Europe. In the case of the former tradesman and mayor Sigismund Gossembrot, complex habits of textual annotating and cross-referencing can be observed. The dichotomy of the Latin terms otium (‘rest’ and ‘leisure’) and negotium (‘activity’, but also ‘practice’, ‘negotiation’, ‘circulation of social energy’ in the sense of New Historicism) will be used as an ideal-type outline to describe the occurring processes of reading.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Germanic Languages
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Germanic Languages > Old German Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Stolz, Michael

Subjects:

400 Language > 430 German & related languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 830 German & related literatures

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Freiburg Institute of Advances Studies, Freiburg, Breisgau

Language:

English

Submitter:

Michael Rudolf Stolz

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2016 09:46

Last Modified:

08 Apr 2016 09:46

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/77699

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