Petrarch’s Climb and the Crisis of the New
Audio recording of a lecture given by tutor David McDonald on November 18, 2022 as part of the Dean's Lecture & Concert Series. The Dean's Office has provided this description of the event: "In a letter often called “The Ascent of Mt. Ventoux,” the poet Petrarch tells of climbing a mountain in the year 1336, in what is now southern France. This is the first documented instance in the West of taking a hike just to see the sight. Having taken in the view from the mountaintop, Petrarch imitates Augustine’s conversion by opening a book at random. But his conversion is unlike Augustine’s. It takes a peculiar turn, toward inwardness and away from religion. We’ll discuss Petrarch’s climb in quest of the new and its relation to modernity, curiosity, sightseeing, the divided self, romantic love, and divination by books and other means."
Santa Fe, NM
Meem Library has been given permission to make this item available online.