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Giordano Bruno and the philosophy of the ass

Author: Nuccio Ordine
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this highly original study, Nuccio Ordine uses the figure of the ass as a lens through which to focus on the thought and writings of the great Renaissance humanist philosopher Giordano Bruno. The donkey played a prominent role as a symbol in sixteenth-century literature, and the ass and human asininity became a recurring motif in Bruno's writings. Ordine offers the first analysis of Bruno's use of this complex
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Miscellanea
Named Person: Giordano Bruno; Giordano Bruno
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nuccio Ordine
ISBN: 0300058527 9780300058529
OCLC Number: 33280841
Description: xv, 271 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: Foreword / Eugenio Garin --
1. Bruno and the Ass: A Long-Deferred Question --
2. Myths, Fables, Tales: the "Asinine" Materials --
3. The Ass and Mercury: A Key to Coincidentia Oppositorum --
4. The Ambiguous Space of Asininity --
5. Man and the Ass, between "Bestiality" and "Divinity" --
6. Positive Asininity: Toil, Humility, Tolerance --
7. Negative Asininity: Idleness, Arrogance, Unidimensionality --
8. The Oration of Fortune --
9. In the Labyrinth of Truth --
10. From Orion to Chiron: Opposing Images of the Religious Cult --
11. The Ass in the Guise of the Sileni: Appearances Are Deceptive --
12. The Literature of the Ass before Bruno --
13. The Entropy of Writing --
14. Natural Science and Human Science: A "Nouvelle Alliance."
Other Titles: Cabala dell'asino.
Responsibility: Nuccio Ordine ; translated by Henryk Barański in collaboration with Arielle Saiber.

Abstract:

In this highly original study, Nuccio Ordine uses the figure of the ass as a lens through which to focus on the thought and writings of the great Renaissance humanist philosopher Giordano Bruno. The donkey played a prominent role as a symbol in sixteenth-century literature, and the ass and human asininity became a recurring motif in Bruno's writings. Ordine offers the first analysis of Bruno's use of this complex symbol, which encompasses contradictory characteristics ranging from humble and hardworking to ignorant and idle. The result is a deeper understanding of Bruno the philosopher, along with a stronger appreciation of Bruno the literary artist.

Ordine looks especially closely at Bruno's use of the figure of the donkey in his attacks on the theologies of both the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and in issues that have become modernist concerns. Ordine's analysis sheds light on each of the major themes of Bruno's philosophy: science and knowledge, myth and religion, language and literature.

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