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"Galateo: Or the Rules of Polite Behavior"

Date:

05/07/2015


Presented by editor and translator M. F. Rusnak

"Galateo: Or the Rules of Polite Behavior" (University of Chicago Press, reprint edition October 2014) is a treatise on polite behavior written by Giovanni Della Casa (1503–56) for the benefit of his nephew, a young Florentine destined for greatness.

In the voice of a cranky yet genial old uncle, Della Casa offers the distillation of what he has learned over a lifetime of public service as diplomat and papal nuncio. As relevant today as it was in Renaissance Italy, Galateo deals with subjects as varied as dress codes, charming conversation and off-color jokes, eating habits and hairstyles, and literary language. In its time, Galateo circulated as widely as Machiavelli’s Prince and Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier. Mirroring what Machiavelli did for promoting political behavior, and what Castiglione did for behavior at court, Della Casa here creates a picture of the refined man caught in a world in which embarrassment and vulgarity prevail. Less a treatise promoting courtly values or a manual of savoir faire, it is rather a meditation on conformity and the law, on perfection and rules, but also an exasperated—often theatrical—reaction to the diverse ways in which people make fools of themselves in everyday social situations. M. F. Rusnak is a translator, professor, and writer. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Florence, Italy Presented in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago Press. This event is free and open to the public.  A reception will follow.RSVP here.

Information

Date: Thursday, May 07, 2015

Entrance : Free


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