Gioviano Pontano  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Jovianus Pontanus (Italian Giovanni Gioviano Pontano) (1426September 17, 1503) was an Italian humanist and poet.

A theoretical analysis of wit

"About the middle period of the Renaissance a theoretical analysis of wit was undertaken, and its practical application in good society was regulated more precisely. The theorist was Gioviano Pontano. In his work on speaking, especially in the third and fourth books, he tries by means of the comparison of numerous jokes or 'facetiae' to arrive at a general principle. How wit should be used among people of position is taught by Baldassare Castiglione in his 'Cortigiano.' Its chief function is naturally to enliven those present by the repetition of comic or graceful stories and sayings; personal jokes, on the contrary, are discouraged on the ground that they wound unhappy people, show too much honour to wrong-doers, and make enemies of the powerful and the spoiled children of fortune; and even in repetition, a wide reserve in the use of dramatic gestures is recommended to the gentleman. Then follows, not only for purposes of quotation, but as patterns for future jesters, a large collection of puns and witty sayings, methodically arranged according to their species, among them some that are admirable. The doctrine of Giovanni della Casa, some twenty years later, in his guide to good manners, is much stricter and more cautious; with a view to the consequences, he wishes to see the desire of triumph banished altogether from jokes and 'burle.' He is the herald of a reaction, which was certain sooner or later to appear." --Jacob Burckhardt translated by SGC Middlemore




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gioviano Pontano" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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