Berni, Francesco

Berni, Francesco

(fränchās`kō bĕr`nē), 1497?–1535, Italian humorous poet, a priest. He was noted for his burlesque capitoli, light, often ribald verses in terza rima. He revised Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, adding humorous touches and what he considered stylistic improvements. For many years Berni's rendering of Boiardo was the standard version; it has been generally discarded. For refusing to help murder Cardinal Salviati, Berni is thought to have been poisoned. One genre of satirical poetry is called bernesca after him.

Berni, Francesco

 

Born circa 1497, in Lamporecchio, Val di Nievole; died May 26, 1535, in Florence. Italian poet and satirist.

In his free adaptation of M. Boiardo’s narrative poem Orlando In Love, Berni spoke out against the invaders of Italy. By lowering the heroic element he ridiculed the fantastic characters of the chivalric romances. Berni created a unique genre of parody which came to be called the bernesco. In his satires, written in terza rima (the so-called capitoli), Berni wrote in an elevated style about prosaic everyday objects, piling up contradictory images in the spirit of baroque poetry. Berni was the originator of the genre of the mock-heroic epic poem, which was developed in literature during the 17th and 18th centuries. In his satirical sonnets he attacked popes, tyrants, and hypocrites.

WORKS

Poesie e prose. Genoa-Florence, 1934.
In Russian translation:
Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCE

De Sanktis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1963–64.

I. N. GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV

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