Cheese and the Worms The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller

ISBN-10: 1421409887

ISBN-13: 9781421409887

Edition: 2013

Authors: Carlo Ginzburg, John Tedeschi, Anne C. Tedeschi

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The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, the miller known as Menocchio, who was accused of heresy during the Inquisition and sentenced to death. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the confusing political and religious conditions of the time. For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: "All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass formed—just as cheese is made out of milk—and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels."Ginzburg’s influential book book has been widely regarded as an early example of the analytic, case-oriented approach known as microhistory. In a thoughtful new preface, Ginzburg offers his own corollary to Menocchio’s story as he considers the discrepancy between the intentions of the writer and what gets written. The Italian miller’s story and Ginzburg’s work continue to resonate with modern readers because they focus on how oral and written culture are inextricably linked. Menocchio’s 500-year-old challenge to authority remains evocative and vital today.
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Book details

List price: $19.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 11/5/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

Carlo Ginzburgis retired from Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy). He is the author of numerous books that have been translated into English includingThe Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller.

Preface to the 2013 Edition
Translators' Note
Preface to the English Edition
Preface to the Italian Edition
The town
First interrogation
From Concordia to Portogruaro
"To speak out against his superiors"
An archaic society
"They oppress the poor"
"Lutherans" and Anabaptists
A miller, a painter, a buffoon
"My opinions came out of my head"
The books
Readers of the town
Printed pages and "fantastic opinions"
Blind alley?
The temple of the virgins
The funeral of the Madonna
The father of Christ
Judgment day
Pigmies and cannibals
"God of nature"
The three rings
Written culture and oral culture
Mythical cheeses and real cheeses
The monopoly over knowledge
The words of the Fioretto
The function of metaphors
"Master," "steward," and "workers"
An hypothesis
Peasant religion
The soul
"I don't know"
Two spirits, seven souls, four elements
The flight of an idea
A new "way of life"
"To kill priests"
A "new world"
End of the interrogations
Letter to the judges
Rhetorical figures
First sentence
Return to the town
Nocturnal dialogue with the Jew
Second trial
"Vanities and dreams"
"Oh great, omnipotent, and holy God…"
"If only I had died when I was fifteen"
Second sentence
Pellegrino Baroni
Two millers
Dominant culture and subordinate culture
Letters from Rome
Index of Names
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