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Pétrarque

Date de naissance: 20. juillet 1304
Date de décès: 1374

Francesco Petrarca, en français Pétrarque , est un érudit, poète et humaniste florentin. Avec Dante Alighieri et Boccace, il compte parmi les premiers grands auteurs de la littérature italienne, et en demeure l’un des plus éminents.

Plus que Dante avec Béatrice, Pétrarque est passé à la postérité pour la perfection de sa poésie qui met en vers son amour pour Laure de Sade. Pour beaucoup, l'ensemble de sa gloire, l'essentiel de sa renommée, la portée de son influence, tant stylistique que linguistique, tiennent uniquement à un volume, son immortel Canzoniere dans lequel il rénova la manière des écrivains du « dolce stil novo ».

C'est dans cette œuvre majeure qu'il « se présente comme une sorte de Janus regardant à la fois vers le passé et l'avenir, l'antiquité et la chrétienté, la frivolité et le recueillement, le lyrisme et l'érudition, l'intérieur et l'extérieur ».

Il est également l'homme qui, durant ses nombreux voyages, a retrouvé les Correspondances de Cicéron jusqu'alors perdues. Ces dernières sont à l'origine de la volonté de Pétrarque de publier ses propres lettres.

Citations Pétrarque

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„Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, livre De remediis utriusque fortunae

De remediis utriusque fortunae (1354), Book II

„Man has no greater enemy than himself.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone.
As quoted in An Examination of the Advantages of Solitude and of Its Operations (1808) by Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

„Those words had given me occupation enough, for I could not believe that it was by a mere accident that I happened upon them.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro (26 April 1336), as translated by James Harvey Robinson (1898)
Contexte: My brother, waiting to hear something of St. Augustine's from my lips, stood attentively by. I call him, and God too, to witness that where I first fixed my eyes it was written: "And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not." I was abashed, and, asking my brother (who was anxious to hear more), not to annoy me, I closed the book, angry with myself that I should still be admiring earthly things who might long ago have learned from even the pagan philosophers that nothing is wonderful but the soul, which, when great itself, finds nothing great outside itself. Then, in truth, I was satisfied that I had seen enough of the mountain; I turned my inward eye upon myself, and from that time not a syllable fell from my lips until we reached the bottom again. Those words had given me occupation enough, for I could not believe that it was by a mere accident that I happened upon them. What I had there read I believed to be addressed to me and to no other, remembering that St. Augustine had once suspected the same thing in his own case, when, on opening the book of the Apostle, as he himself tells us, the first words that he saw there were, "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

„I seem to you to have written everything, or at least a great deal, while to myself I appear to have produced almost nothing.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Giovanni Boccaccio (28 April 1373) as quoted in Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (1898) edited by James Harvey Robinson and Henry Winchester Rolfe, p. 417
Contexte: I certainly will not reject the praise you bestow upon me for having stimulated in many instances, not only in Italy but perhaps beyond its confines also, the pursuit of studies such as ours, which have suffered neglect for so many centuries; I am, indeed, almost the oldest of those among us who are engaged in the cultivation of these subjects. But I cannot accept the conclusion you draw from this, namely, that I should give place to younger minds, and, interrupting the plan of work on which I am engaged, give others an opportunity to write something, if they will, and not seem longer to desire to reserve everything for my own pen. How radically do our opinions differ, although, at bottom, our object is the same! I seem to you to have written everything, or at least a great deal, while to myself I appear to have produced almost nothing.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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