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Ephemeral cityCheap print and urban culture in Renaissance Venice$
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Rosa Salzberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087035

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087035.001.0001

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‘In The Mouths of Charlatans’: Pamphlets From Print Shop to Piazza

‘In The Mouths of Charlatans’: Pamphlets From Print Shop to Piazza

(p.98) 4 ‘In The Mouths of Charlatans’: Pamphlets From Print Shop to Piazza
Ephemeral city

Rosa Salzberg

Manchester University Press

This chapter takes a closer look at some of the kinds of cheap print peddled on the streets of Renaissance Venice. It surveys some prominent genres including chivalric tales, news poems, pamphlets of ‘secrets’ and devotional literature. It argues that many of these works share a close connection with oral culture and performance, but that they also reflect the fluid movement of texts that characterised Venetian Renaissance culture. Both traditional and more innovative recent works made their way to a large audience by means of cheap print, street performance and hawking. As such the chapter posits a pivotal role for charlatans, street singers and other performers, particularly up until the middle of the sixteenth century, as cultural mediators, taking pamphlets from printshop to piazza.

Keywords:   cheap print, chivalric tales, news, secrets, devotional, oral culture, performance, charlatans, street singers, piazza

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