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Elucidation and Self-Explanation in Filelfo’s Marginalia

Book Contribution - Chapter

The Italian humanist Francesco Filelfo (1398–1481) added a conspicuous quantity of marginal notes both to his Latin translations of ancient Greek texts and to his own poems and prose works. Just as Filelfo continued to revise his texts, he kept polishing these annotations. He used them to demonstrate his superior command of Greek, to advertise his other writings, and to chastise his opponents. In some cases, distinct editorial stages in both the main text and the marginal notes demonstrate a dynamic interaction between the text and the author’s own framing of it, as well as between these texts and their early reception. This chapter will discuss the various types of self-exegetical devices that are present in Filelfo’s numerous writings, and illustrate how he advertised his own qualities as a translator and a writer, just as much as he provided his readership with elucidations of the text at hand.
Book: Self-Commentary in Early Modern European Literature
Pages: 50 - 70
Publication year:2019