The English Baroque: Style in 17th-Century Art and Verse
Hudson Vincent is a PhD candidate in the Comparative Literature Department at Harvard University, where he is working on a dissertation tentatively titled “The English Baroque: Style in Renaissance Prose and Verse.” He received his B.A. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research languages include Italian, French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek, and his research interests cover early modern literature, aesthetics, philosophy, and science; the Renaissance; the Baroque; and classical literature.
Baroque Literature: Style and Translation in Italy and England
My project explores the emergence of a baroque literary style in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries, focusing in particular on Italian and Neo-Latin texts that were directly translated into English during the 17th century. I aim to demonstrate how the baroque literary style emerged in England partly through the translation of prose and poetry from Italy. Relevant Italian authors include Torquato Tasso, Giordano Bruno, Giambattista Marino, Gian Francesco Busenello, Althanasius Kircher, and Emanuele Tesauro. The second part of my project entails a re-evaluation of early modern Italian treatises on the visual arts, poetry, and science to develop a panaesthetic theory of baroque style. My goal is to find a syncretism of conceptual vocabulary across the domains of architecture, optics, philosophy, and poetry. Relevant texts include Vincenzo Scamozzi’s L’Idea dell’architettura universale, Galileo Galilei’s Dialogo sopra I due massimi sistemi del mondo, Kircher’s Obeliscus Pamphilius, and Tesauro’s Il Cannocchiale aristotelico. I am eager to explore whether a consistent vision of the world – a style of vision – exists across the arts and sciences during the 17th century in Italy, and to what extent that style influenced early modern English authors.