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Teofilo Folengo (1491-1544) was born in Mantua and joined the Benedictine order, but became a runaway monk and a satirist of monasticism. In 1517, he published, under the pseudonym "Merlin Cocaio", the first version of his macaronic narrative poem "Baldo", later enlarged and elaborated. It blended Latin with various Italian dialects in hexameter verse, inventing a deliberately droll language whose humor depends on the mixture of high and low tonalities. An important example of the mock-heroic epic, the work was a model for Rabelais and was frequently reprinted.Baldo, the hero of these picaresque adventures, is a descendant of French royalty who starts out as something of a juvenile delinquent. The poem narrates episodes that include imprisonment; battles with local authorities, pirates, shepherds, witches, and demons; and a journey to the underworld. Throughout Baldo is accompanied by various companions, among them a giant, a centaur, a magician, and his best friend Cingar, a wickedly inventive trickster ("practicus ad beffas"). This edition provides the first English translation of this hilarious send-up of ancient epic and Renaissance chivalric romance.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674031241
ISBN-10: 0674031245
Format: Hardback
(203mm x 133mm x 36mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 9-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Teofilo Folengo

Ann E. Mullaney holds a Ph.D. in Italian Language and Literature from Yale University and has taught at the University of New Hampshire, Emory University, and the University of Minnesota.