Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | Collecting uncollectables: Joachim Du Bellay

Title:
Collecting uncollectables: Joachim Du Bellay
Author:
Gro Bjørnerud Mo: University of Oslo, Norway
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.179123
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2017
Volume:
9
Issue:
1
Pages:
23-35
No. of pages:
15
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2017-09-04


Lists of wonders have circulated for millennia. Over and over, such inventories of spectacular man made constructions have been rewritten, re-edited and reimagi-ned. Both the wonders and the lists of wonders, preferably of the seven, have had a profound and long-lasting effect, and have been abundantly imitated, copied and reworked. Renaissance creative thinking was obsessed with the seven wonders of the ancient world, and early-modern Europe experienced a surge of visual and verbal depictions of wonders. This article is about a remarkable list of seven wonders, included in one of Joachim Du Bellay’s canonical poems on Roman antiquities (Antiquités de Rome), published in Paris in 1558. Du Bellay shapes his list of wonders by exploring pat-terns of both repetition and mutability. Almost imperceptibly, he starts suggesting connections between 16th-century Rome and distant civilizations. Through the eyes of a fictive traveller and collector, the poet venerates the greatness and la-ments the loss of ancient buildings, sites and works of art, slowly developing a ver-bal, visual and open-ended gallery, creating a collection of crumbling or vanished, mainly Roman, architecture. This poetic display of ruins and dust in the Eternal City is nourished by the attraction of the inevitable destruction of past splendour and beauty. In the sonnets, Du Bellay imitates classical models and patterns. Whi-le compiling powerful images and stories of destruction, he combines techniques associated with both a modern concept of copy and more ancient theories of co-pia. In this context, this article also explores whether Pliny’s Natural History might be a source for the imaginary collection of lost sites and wonders in Du Bellay’s Antiquités.

Keywords: Du Bellay; Wonders of the world; Roman Antiquities; Pliny the Elder; Copiousness

Volume 9, Issue: 1, Article 4, 2017

Author:
Gro Bjørnerud Mo
Title:
Collecting uncollectables: Joachim Du Bellay :
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.179123
References:

Du Bellay, Joachim (1908): OEuvres Poétiques, édition Charmard, 4 vols., Paris: Droz. Du Bellay, Joachim (2002): Les Regrets suivis des Antiquités de Rome et du Songe, édition Roudaut, Paris: Livre de Poche.

Boon, Marcus (2010): In Praise of Copying, Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England: Harvard University Press. DOI: 10.4159/9780674047839

Carey, Sorcha (2000): “The problem of totality. Collecting Greek art, wonders and luxury in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History”, Journal of the History of Collections, 12:1, 1-13. DOI: 10.1093/jhc/12.1.1

Cave, Terence (1979): The Cornucopian Text. Problems of Writing in the French Renaissance, Oxford: Claredon.

Clayton, Peter & Price, Martin (1991): The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, London: Routledge.

Christian, Kathleen Wren (2010): Empire without End. Antiquities Collections in Renaissance Rome, c. 1350–1527, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Dauvois, Nathalie (1992): Mnemosyne. Ronsard, une poétique de la mémoire, Paris: Champion.

Greene, Thomas (1982): The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry, New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

Hampton, Timothy (2001): Literature and Nation in the Sixteenth Century, Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press.

Impey, Oliver & Arthur MacGregor (1985): The Origins of Museums. The Cabinet of Curiosities in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lyons, John D. (2005): Before Imagination. Embodied thought from Montaigne to Rousseau, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

MacPhail, Eric (1990): The Voyage to Rome in French Renaissance Literature, Stanford: Anma Libri.

Mathieu-Castellani, Gisèle (1980): “Poétique du nom dans les Regrets”, Etudes seiziémistes offertes à Monsieur le Professeur V.- L. Saulnier, Genève: Droz.

Melehy, Hassan (2010): The Poetics of Literary Transfer in Early Modern France and England, London: Routledge.

Mo, Gro Bjørnerud (2013): “Du Bellay, Poet of Rome, in Rome”, Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, XXVI, 91-106.

Momigliano, Arnaldo (1990): The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press.

Notz, Marie-Françoise (1994): “Nom proper et lieu commun dans Les Antiquitez de Rome”, James Dauphiné & Paul Mironneau (eds.): Du Bellay: actes des seconds Journées du Centre Jacques de Laprade, Pau: Centre Jacques Laprade, 37-45.

Pliny the Elder (1962): Natural History, book XXXVI-XXXVII, translation D. E. Eichholz, London, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Loeb.

Quintilian (2001): The Orator’s Education, ed. and trans. Donald A. Russel, London, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Loeb.

Tucker, George Hugo (1990): The Poet’s Odyssey. Joachim Du Bellay and the Antiquitez de Rome, Oxford: Claredon. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198158653.001.0001

Tucker, George Hugo (2003): Homo Viator: Itineraries of Exile, Displacement and Writing in Renaissance Europe, Geneva: Droz.

Yates, Frances A. (1966): The Art of Memory, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Vine, Angus (2014): “Copiousness, conjecture and collaboration in William Camden’s Britannia”, Renaissance Studies, 28:2, 225-241. DOI: 10.1111/rest.12051

Volume 9, Issue: 1, Article 4, 2017

Author:
Gro Bjørnerud Mo
Title:
Collecting uncollectables: Joachim Du Bellay :
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.179123
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
No citations available at the moment
 

Export in BibTex, RIS or text