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My Secret Book

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Written by one of the greatest poets of all time, My Secret Book, now in its first English translation, is a profound and deeply personal account of inner suffering and mental anguish. Deeply troubled by his struggle—and failure—to achieve spiritual perfection, Petrarch, considered the forefather of Italian humanism, sought catharsis in the writing of a “secret book.” Only ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Hesperus Press (first published 1378)
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Bruce
Sep 20, 2011 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Petrarch was the leader and spiritual father of the Italian Renaissance, the revival of classical antiquity and the modern humanist movement. Living entirely in the 14th century, he paved the way for subsequent thinkers, liberating them from medieval scholasticism and a perspective primarily otherworldly.

In this edition there is first an introduction by Carol E. Quillen. She initially discusses humanism itself in the context of Petrarch’s time and then provides an overview of the present text it
...more
Mary
Feb 06, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be required reading. Perhaps it will not speak to everyone, but some may find it a more soothing balm and helpful guide than most of the self-help, feel-good schlock that's peddled nowadays.
Yani
Dec 01, 2015 Yani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un diálogo interesante entre Petrarca (él se construye como personaje) y San Agustín sobre distintos puntos, sobre todo filosóficos y morales. Me olvidé de que lo había leído, así que, evidentemente, por más que me pareció bueno no fue algo memorable.
Yann
Jul 23, 2011 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La noire mélancolie qui frappa François Pétrarque lui fit rédiger cet ouvrage dans lequel il se livre à une introspection au moyen d'un dialogue avec un Saint Augustin imaginaire, heureusement plus philosophe et moins superstitieux que l'original. Alors que le poète se laisse aller à l'abattement, Augustin le secoue en évoquant de la sagesse des œuvres des philosophes et de poètes de l'antiquité, en particulier de Ciceron et de ses Tusculanes, mais aussi en citant Platon, Aristote et surtout l'i ...more
Adamo Lanna
Aug 25, 2010 Adamo Lanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiografie, 300
Oh bello questo. Una bella scoperta. Cioè è chiaro che già sapevo del Secretum, solo pensavo che fosse palloso e non l'avevo mai letto, invecce no. Sant'Agostino non te la manda a dire, Petrarca non rompe le palle lui e la sua Laura e alla fine ne esce un compendio di filosofia tipo "cicerone for dummies" che è spettacolare.
Sarà che mi immedesimo, sarà che Petrarca è vissuto qui la strada accanto, sarà che queste pippe me le faccio anche io sempre, insomma 5 stelle sicuro.
CX Dillhunt
Mar 21, 2009 CX Dillhunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
In the style of Cicero & Plato, a conversation (it's subtitled "The Private Conflict of My Thoughts") between Francesco Petrarca & Aurelius Augustinus aka St. Augustine of Hippo...love (Franesco has his Laura as Dante has his Beatrice!), life, death, procrastination, writing, reason...eventually going from argumentation to instruction set for life...much humor mixed with a very serious discussion...the forward by Germaine Greer is a gem...
Mary
Aug 25, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
NOT my favorite book. He made many good points, but there was much in this book that troubled me. I found the bits about needing to concentrate on death in order to set one's gaze on the eternal rather bizarre and extreme. More on this later. There was a bit too much Plato in here. . .
Cassandra Leonard
Jun 23, 2013 Cassandra Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of my Western Civ class. It definitely gets inside the head of Petrarch and helps to become more in touch with his character while entering a brief history of his life. Definitely an easy reader.
Anney
Oct 24, 2008 Anney rated it it was amazing
I've read this several times and it always puts me in deep reflection on my life. It's pretty amazing.
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Francesco Petrarca known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often popularly called the "father of humanism". Based on Petrarch's works, and to a lesser extent those of Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language, later endorsed by the Accademi ...more
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