The Rhythm of Prose
Thomas Patrick Wisniewski is completing his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Harvard University, where he was previously appointed Jacob K. Javits Fellow and Krupp Foundation Research Fellow. His research centers on rhythm and the comparative arts in European Modernism. He is a professional translator from Italian to English and has published translations and scholarship in journals including Biography, World Literature Today, Gradiva, In Other Words, Italica, Italian Culture, Pusteblume, Forum Italicum, Music & Literature, L’anello che non tiene, and Quaderni d’italianistica. His work has been awarded the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, the Susan Anthony Potter Prize, the Luisa Vidal de Villasante Award, the Harvard Horizons Fellowship, and the Global Humanities Junior Fellowship, Freie Universität Berlin. He has held visiting lectureships at Boston University, Tufts University, and Harvard College. He completed an M.A. in Italian Literature from Middlebury College, an A.M. in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, and a B.A. in Italian Literature and B.M.A. in Saxophone Performance from the University of Michigan. Trained as a classical saxophonist, he has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Italy, France, Argentina, and the United States.
My project centers on the historical significance of prose rhythm. At I Tatti I will research how classical rhetoric and the study of prose rhythm in Cicero and Aristotle achieved a rebirth of intellectual interest during the Italian Renaissance, particularly in the work of Machiavelli and Vasari. I further aim to understand how literary and scholarly attention to rhythm in Early Modern Europe came to impact the later work of modernist prose stylists in Italy and England.