Reading the Afterlife of Isabella di Morra’s Poetry

Gabriella Scarlatta Eschrich, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Fall 2015), 273-304

This article analyzes the afterlife of the Italian Renaissance poet Isabella di Morra, whose texts engendered many textual and virtual communities through their numerous publications from 1552 to 2008. It shows how her author function was mediated by early modern male editors, by the Giolito anthologies, and by various publishers, literary critics, and modern artists. The several communities that Morra’s poems produced are here envisioned as an organic rhizome, as theorized by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, since the transmittal and reception of her texts and ideas created a multiplicity of literary and virtual communities, including those crafted more recently by a French playwright and an Italian singer-songwriter. Morra’s oeuvre continues to dialogue with writers and readers and to generate a vibrant, prosperous afterlife constructed somewhere in between the early modern anthologies and the virtual communities of other early modern women writers.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]