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The worlds of Giordano Bruno : the man…
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The worlds of Giordano Bruno : the man Galileo plagiarized (2010)

by Alan W. Powers

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Though I wrote this book, I am amazed how beautiful the British art publisher made it. An early sample of my writing on Bruno was complimented as "better than academic" by my back-cover author, Archibald MacLeish. I hope it is as he generously said, but it is also very academic, almost too well researched. Light and witty in parts, too, I hope, especially at the start of chapters. (One Chapter, Three, is a learned survey which really should be at the end of the book.)
I have given twenty talks from this book, including at Marquette University (Astronomy and Physics Departments), SUNY-New Paltz (Italian Studies), University of Notre Dame, London (Institute for Historical Research and Global Studies), and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The latter is on Youtube if you google: Giordano Bruno Harvard Video. (It's 23 minutes, some fun at the start and finish, and especially good from 10-15 minutes according to a London actor-director.) ( )
  AlanWPowers | May 18, 2014 |
In his The Worlds of Giordano Bruno, Alan W. Powers explores the life, writings, and legacies of Giordano Bruno, a man he calls "the first modern." Powers traces Bruno's frequent travels, analyzes his many and varied writings, and perhaps most importantly, explores the ways Bruno has been seen by others in the centuries since his death. The historiographical treatment is fascinating, and along with the rest of the book is well worth a read. Powers adds an addendum, on early efforts to map the moon.

Powers also shares his own experiences in researching Bruno's life and works, visiting sites Bruno would have known; his enthusiasm for the subject is evident, as is his witty sense of humor. The book is enhanced by well-reproduced images of buildings, illustrations from Bruno's books, the man and his contemporaries (as depicted in portraits or statues), and a detailed map of Bruno's journeys.

A good overview of a truly remarkable character in human history. ( )
  JBD1 | May 12, 2012 |
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A MacLeish said of the Addendum on 17C lunar mapping, "Your effort is better than academic."
added by AlanWPowers | editBackcover of Worlds of Giordano Bruno, Archibald MacLeish (May 3, 1980)
 
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Early enthusiasm from Archibald MacLeish, and early tutelage from Tony Molho, L.L.Lipking and Sander Gilman are appreciated, as well as more recent mentoring from Annabel Patterson, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Thomas Greene, and especially Jean D'Amato Thomas in Naples.  Ingrid Rowland gave crucial help in my Roman research, and the Vatican Secret Archives. Arnold Schmidt has an ear I have depended on.
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Giordano Bruno was sent to the Inquisition, and its customary care of his soul, by one bad student evaluation.  Although a teacher learns this with stark amazement, a scientist sees teh Nolan condemned to the stake in 1600 because he tried to, but could not, retract one particularly modern heresy: the "universe" (his own word) contains an "infinite number of habitable worlds."
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To me it suffices to seek the light in the temple
Of the future, to erect in some age, what so far I alone know.
And to that end God ordered my veins to throb
Now that I begin to grow white hairs.  (p.16) De triplici, II.1-5

Bibliography contains eight large pages, single-spaced of nearly 30 books by Bruno, in Latin, Italian, occasional dialects and a hundred books about him in those languages as well as English, French, and Russian.  Included in the text are my translations of whole pages of his 400 page Latin De innumerabilibis (1592), sections from most all his other books.  For a complete English translation of his hilarious comedy, Candelaio (originally in Latin, Italian and Neapolitan dialect) see my other Bruno book.
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