Thursday Seminar: Saying Goodbye in the Renaissance: Meditations on Leavetaking

Date: 

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: 

Gould Hall, I Tatti

Congedo della Vergine, Sano di Pietro, Berenson Collection, Villa I Tatti

Speaker: Jane Tylus (I Tatti / Yale University) 

How do we take leave of what we love?  This is a question that has always preoccupied us as humans, and yet early modern Europe offered a set of distinctive answers thanks in no small part to a new confidence in overcoming loss.  Beginning with a small Sienese panel in the Berenson collection and a breviary for Clarisse, ending with the writings of Michel de Montaigne, this talk will attempt to sketch out an ethics of leave taking in the Renaissance.  As we move between art and literary texts, the examples will offer occasion to think about saying goodbye not only to people – family, friends, one’s beloved - but to one’s words, and one’s works.  In particular, I hope to explore the intricate relationship between different kinds of goodbye, and to ask about the role of friendship in conferring dignity on the products of our common humanity.​


Jane Tylus is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Italian and Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale.  Her previous appointments were at NYU, where she was founding director of the NYU Center for the Humanities, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Recent publications include Siena, City of Secrets; Early Modern Cultures of Translation (co-edited with Karen Newman); Reclaiming Catherine of Siena; The Poetics of Masculinity in Early Modern Italy and Spain (co-edited with Gerry Milligan); and the complete translation of Gaspara Stampa’s Rime. Her current work includes a book-length manuscript, “Saying Goodbye in the Renaissance,” and a series of essays on music and translation. She is General Editor of I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance and a socia corrispondente of the Accademia degli Intronati, Siena.