Paolo Procaccioli

Marginal notes on Pietro Aretino: Nanna's (and Pietro's) secrets

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This article considers the ethical and political implications of Aretino's porno-graphic writings. It proposes a new interpretation of a seemingly minor textual detail in the "Dialogo della Nanna e della Pippa" - that is, Nanna's recipe for a concoction to be used in order to restore virginity ('ad restituendam virginitatis'). While this passage has been construed as the product of a depraved mind, Nanna's formula was in fact a remedy ('secreto') handed down by many collec-tions of recipes at the time. By reading this passage also in relation to contempo-rary historical figures, events, and news items, this article sheds light on the allusions that lie behind the biography of the protagonist of Aretino's "Ragionamento" (1534) and "Dialogo" (1536). In this connection, the "Sei giornate" appear to be a denunciation of the corruption of the clergy - nuns in particular.

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