5.0518 Rs: Fire and Ice; Maja; Once More for Abulafia (3/72)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 10 Dec 1991 17:40:45 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0518. Tuesday, 10 Dec 1991.

(1) Date: Mon, 9 Dec 91 19:13:48 CST (15 lines)
From: (James Marchand) <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Icy Fire

(2) Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1991 21:32:27 -0500 (29 lines)
From: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca (Germaine Warkentin)
Subject: Fire and Ice

(3) Date: Tue, 10 Dec 91 8:35:59 CST (28 lines)
From: Dennis Baron <baron@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: maja eco

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 91 19:13:48 CST
From: (James Marchand) <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Icy Fire

You might look at Leonard Forster, The Icy Fire. Five Studies in European
Petrarchism (Cambridge: University Press, 1969). ISBN 521 07495 9. He is
a little too generous with his attributions to Petrarch, since he, of all
people, knows better, but he writes well and offers many examples. If you
are interested in Romance acyrologia, you might like my "Acyrologia as a
Rhetorical Device and Mode of Thought in the Poems of Ausias March," in
Estudis de llengua, literatura i cultura catalanes. Actes del Primer Col.
loqui d'Estudis Catalans a Nord-America, ed. A. Porqueras-Mayo, S.Baldwin
and Jaume Marti-Olivella (Abadia de Montserrat, 1979), 183-194. The various
adynata often attributed to Petrarch are for the most part ancient.
Jim Marchand
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------41----
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1991 21:32:27 -0500
From: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca (Germaine Warkentin)
Subject: Fire and Ice

J.C. Maloney asks for a quick run-down on "fire and ice." He calls it
a "cliche'," but it would be better to term it a "topos." Whenever it's
invoked, the poet is attempting to describe the alternation of
sensations resulting from erotic attraction. The specific contrast between
fire and ice may have originated in the romance vernaculars,
especially Provencal (I haven't got my sources right at hand). But
the idea that love involves sharply contrasting feelings which are in
constant conflict with each other is very old; see for example the
famous poem of Sappho quoted by Longinus in _On the Sublime_. The
ancients considered erotic mania a specifically medical problem. Much
good recent work has been done on love malady as a cultural factor.
Quite apart from Foucault, Vols. II and III of the _History of
Sexuality_, which deal with the ethical factors surrounding love
malady, see Massimo Ciavolella's fundamental study _La malattia
d'amore dall'antichita` al medioevo_ (1976), his recent edition with Don
Beecher of Jacques Ferrand, and especially Mary Wack's _Love-Sickness in
the Middle Ages_ (1990, I think.) Both Dante and Petrarch were well
acquainted with the standard view of love malady and its effects, as
indeed were all the other poets of the period. Sometimes their
knowledge takes the form of "cliche`s," but you can see the same
material in absolutely transcendant form in a line like Dante's
"cognosco i segni de l'antica fiamma" (Purg. XXX, 48), uttered to
Virgil at the approach of Beatrice. Germaine Warkentin

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------39----
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 91 8:35:59 CST
From: Dennis Baron <baron@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: maja eco

The naked maja story as reported in the _Chronicle of Higher
Education_ a couple of weeks ago referred to a picture of a
female nude in a classroom which the instructor found was
distracting the students. She asked that it be moved to a
more suitable location.

As I remember the computer in Foucault's Pendulum was a PC
and there was some fiddling or hacking to find the password
to unlock a disk with some secret files. I read the book in
a febrile state last year, which is probably the only way I
can read Eco's fiction, and retained very little of it, which
was also probably "a good thing."
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