Giovanni Fratta's 'On the Dedication of Books', Venice (1590)

Source: British Library 1072.h.25

Citation:
Giovanni Fratta's 'On the Dedication of Books', Venice (1590), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Record-ID: i_1590

Permanent link: http://www.copyrighthistory.org/record/i_1590

Full title:
'On the dedication of books, with the correction of the abuse introduced in this matter. Dialogues by Sig. Giovanni Fratta, Veronese nobleman'

Full title original language:
Della dedicatione de'libri, Con la Correction dell'Abuso, in questa materia introdotto. Dialoghi del Sig. Giovanni Fratta, Nobile Veronese.

Abstract:
In his Dialogue 'On the Dedication of Books' (1590) the Veronese lawyer and poet Giovanni Fratta, who was a friend of Torquato Tasso, develops his theory on how princes ought to be generous in their patronage of the writers who dedicated their works to them. The Dialogue starts with a survey of the historical origins of dedicatory inscriptions, going back to classical Antiquity, and then considers the abuses which in more recent times had come to mar this practice (such as excessive flattery on the part of authors). One of the interlocutors, Critone, argues that authors must not be moved by considerations of financial gain and attacks the invention of printing for having vulgarized literature. He defends the traditional view of authors as belonging to a disinterested, aristocratic élite. His opponent in the Dialogue, Francesco Porta, who is introduced as a printer with great practical experience, argues that authors are entitled to dedicate their books in the hope of obtaining legitimate remuneration for their work, just as lawyers and doctors charge fees from their clients. A third interlocutor, Eugenio, sides with Porta and praises the opening up of literary culture ushered in by the art of printing, which meant that everyone could now benefit from a book, not just its dedicatee. Eugenio, advocating a more modern concept of authorship, also argues that dedications of works should not merely consist of praises for the dedicatee but be addressed to the public as a whole. Fratta himself tried to live up to this concept in the dedication of his poem of 1592 'La Malteide' to Ranuccio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, where he avoids praising this prince in too florid terms and puts his work in a historical context for the benefit of his readers. Although the Dialogue does not seem to have left much of an impression on Fratta's contemporaries, it is an important document reflecting changing attitudes towards the writer as courtier and the market opened up by printing.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.

Bibliography:
  • Santoro, Marco, 'Contro l'abuso delle dediche. 'Della dedicatione de' libri' di Giovanni Fratta', in 'Paratesto. Rivista internazionale' 1 (2004): 99-120

  • Richardson, Brian, 'Printing, writers and readers in Renaissance Italy' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

  • Lucas, Corinne, 'Vers une nouvelle image de l'écrivain: 'Della dedicatione de' libri' de Giovanni Fratta', in 'L'écrivain face à son public en France et en Italie à la Renaissance', 'Actes du colloque internationale de Tours', ed. by C.A. Fiorato and J.C. Margolin (Paris, 1989): 85-104


Related documents in this database:
1834: Balzac's letter to authors

Author: Giovanni Fratta

Publisher: Giorgio Angelieri

Year: 1590

Location: Venice

Language: Italian

Source: British Library 1072.h.25

Persons referred to:







Aelian
Alexander the Great
Ambrogini, Angelo
Anaxagoras
Anaximander
Anaximenes
Apellicon of Teos
Appian of Alexandria
Aretino, Leonardo
Aristippus
Aristophanes
Aristotle
Arnigio, Bartolomeo
Athenaeus
Attalus I, Soter
Augustus, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
Baldi, Bernardino
Bembo, Pietro
Borgofranco, Giovanni Battista da
Brutus, Marcus Junius
Calcondile, Demetrio
Campana, Cesare
Ceruti, Federico
Cesarini, Giuliano
Charles V of Habsburg
Chiabrera, Gabriel
Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Cicero, Quintus Tullius
Corio, Bernardino
Dante Alighieri
Demetrius Phalereus
Demosthenes
Dio Cassius
Dioscorides, Pedanius
Dolce, Lodovico
Ennius, Quintus
Este, Ercole, I d'
Este, Ippolito, II d'
Euripides
Fabius, Quintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus
Fracastoro, Girolamo
Franco, Veronica
Fratta, Giovanni
Frederick II of Germany
Frederick III of Habsburg
Gaius Herennius
Galen
Giovio, Paolo
Giustiniani, Agostino
Gregori, Giovanni de
Gregori, Gregorio de
Grégoire, Pierre
Guicciardini, Francesco
Gutenberg, Johannes
Herodian
Herostratus
Hesiod
Hipparchus
Hippocrates
Homer
Iamblichus
Innocent I, St
Innocent III
Landino, Christoforo
Leoniceno, Niccolò
Livia, Drusilla
Livy
Lucian
Lucullus, Lucius Licinius
Lysander
Maecenas, Gaius Cilnius
Marcellus, Marcus Claudius
Marogna, Nicolò
Mattioli, Pietro Andrea
Maximilian I
Mejía, Pedro
Merula, Georgius
Nepos, Cornelius
Nero
Nicolaus of Damascus
Numa Pompilius
Oribasius
Persona, Cristofore
Petrarch
Philip II
Philip II
Pindar
Plato
Plautus, Titus Maccius
Plotinus
Plutarch
Polybius
Procopius
Ptolemy I, Soter
Ptolemy II, Philadelphius
Publicola, Publius Valerius
Pulci, Luigi
Pythagoras
Quintilian
Robert of Anjou, 'the Wise'
Robortello, Francesco
Ruscelli, Girolamo
Sallust
Savorgnano, Count Mario
Scaliger, Julius Caesar
Scipio, Publius Cornelius, Africanus Major
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus
Sigonio, Carlo
Simonides of Ceos
Socrates
Sophocles
Speroni degli Alvarotti, Sperone
Stesichorus
Strabo
Sulla, Lucius Cornelius
Thales
Themistocles
Theocritus
Theodorus Gaza
Theophrastus
Theopompus of Chios
Thucydides
Tiberius
Timaeus of Locri
Timoleon
Tomitano, Bernardino
Trajan
Trebatius Testa, Gaius
Valla, Giorgio
Verità, Count Marco
Villani, Giovanni
Virgil
Vittorio, Pietro
Xenocrates
Xenophon
Ziletti, Francesco
Zoilus

Places referred to:
Alexandria
Asia
Athens
Bologna
Corinth
Egypt
Ephesus
Jerusalem
Mainz
Marathon
Naxos
Padua
Pergamon
Rome
Samos
Sicily
Venice
Verona
Vienna

Cases referred to:
N/A

Institutions referred to:
Academia de Filarmonici, Verona
Library of Alexandria

Legislation:
N/A

Keywords:
Renaissance, the
authors' remuneration
censorship, pre-publication
classics, Greek and Latin
fraud
humanism
incentives
libraries
patronage
reputation
scribal publication
translations, of classic works

Responsible editor: Joanna Kostylo


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