Self-Commentary in Early Modern European Literature, 1400-1700


This volume investigates the various ways in which writers comment on, present, and defend their own works, and at the same time themselves, across early modern Europe. A multiplicity of self-commenting modes, ranging from annotations to explicatory prose to prefaces to separate critical texts and exemplifying a variety of literary genres, are subjected to analysis. Self-commentaries are more than just an external apparatus: they direct and control reception of the primary text, thus affecting notions of authorship and readership. With the writer understood as a potentially very influential and often tendentious interpreter of their own work, the essays in this collection offer new perspectives on pre-modern and modern forms of critical self-consciousness, self-representation, and self-validation.

Contributors are Harriet Archer, Gilles Bertheau, Carlo Caruso, Jeroen De Keyser, Russel Ganim, Joseph Harris, Ian Johnson, Richard Maber, Martin McLaughlin, John O’Brien, Magdalena Ożarska, Federica Pich, Brian Richardson, Els Stronks, and Colin Thompson.


EUR €149.00USD $179.00

Biographical Note

Francesco Venturi, PhD (2012, University of Siena), is Associate Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Oslo. He has published widely in the field of early modern and twentieth-century literature and culture, including the monograph Genesi e storia della ‘trilogia’ di Andrea Zanzotto (ETS, 2016).


Academics and students interested in early modern literature and culture, comparative literature, classics, history of the book, literary theory, poetics, literary criticism, issues of authorship and readership, reception studies, and exegesis. Keywords: Renaissance, exegesis, interpretation, classics, canon, authorship, readership, poetics, reception, paratext, literary criticism, literary theory, self-fashioning.