HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller (1976)

by Carlo Ginzburg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,891278,977 (3.96)28
The now-classic tale of a sixteenth-century miller facing the Roman Inquisition. The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, the miller known as Menocchio, who was accused of heresy during the Inquisition and sentenced to death. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the religious and social conflicts of the society Menocchio lived in. For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: "All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass formed--just as cheese is made out of milk--and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels." Ginzburg's influential book has been widely regarded as an early example of the analytic, case-oriented approach known as microhistory. In a thoughtful new preface, Ginzburg offers his own corollary to Menocchio's story as he considers the discrepancy between the intentions of the writer and what gets written. The Italian miller's story and Ginzburg's work continue to resonate with modern readers because they focus on how oral and written culture are inextricably linked. Menocchio's 500-year-old challenge to authority remains evocative and vital today.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 28 mentions

English (19)  Spanish (3)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A great account of the inquisition of a miller who can read and think independently which turns into a major problem in the 16th century. His own personal religion is a bizarre collection of folk wisdom and logic applied to a theology of which he only partially understands the orthodox version in the first place. He's also stubborn and unrepentant enough to come back for seconds after getting clemency for a sentence that nearly kills him. Fascinating character. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
‘The sequence cheese-worms-angels-holy majesty-God, the most powerful of the men-angels, had been abbreviated along the way to that of cheese-worms-men-God, the most powerful among men.’

Such an engrossing analysis of a 16th century heresy trial, Menocchio is such an inspiring figure (aside from his all too human lapses and contradictions when he becomes too verbose and realises he won’t achieve clemency, denying what he had previously said and in the process demeaning himself). His individual musings on Christian theology, with his radical humanist assertion that the love of one’s neighbour supersedes the love of God in importance, as well as his invocations of oral traditions and influences ranging from the Quran to pantheism to the Anabaptists to the Lutherans even through to the Greek conception of chaos, were immensely enjoyable to read. I feel like him and Judge Schreber would have recorded an absolutely great podcast over goblets of mead in some tavern.

It’s also darkly amusing to reflect on just how willing religious authorities were to employ methods of torture and months of interrogations on a man who everybody was pretty much assured posed no real threat - it’s so strange to think that the Pope himself stooped so low as to sign and intensely follow the progress of this man’s death warrant. He was externally submissive to the daily trappings of the Church (following Pascal’s advice a whole century before he penned it), had no real interest in converting those around him to his fancies (he himself was always careful to say he never wished his family to share his views, and that his thoughts were mere opinions and not the truth) and was a greatly appreciated member of his society, even being allowed to work in the Church after being branded a heretic and forced to don the habitello which he hated so much. In spite of the torture, the years of prison he endured and the illness and frailty he fell prey to, he never once ratted on those companions to who he may have indulged both his mind and tongue on rare occasions. Shoutout to Menocchio, the man who made the Inquisition his bitch in the only way a self-taught Miller could. ( )
  theoaustin | May 19, 2023 |
PRATELEIRA EUNICE LIVRO 112
Um obscuro herege do século XVI é resgatado do esquecimento por Carlo Ginzburg em O queijo e os vermes. A partir daí nasce não uma dissertação acadêmica, mas uma das mais apaixonantes histórias sobre a Inquisição e sobre a cultura popular e erudita da época, por meio da vida de Menocchio, o moleiro, e sua espantosa cosmogonia: "[...] tudo era um caos, isto é, terra, ar, fogo e água juntos, e de todo aquele volume se formou uma massa, do mesmo modo como o queijo é feito do leite, e do qual surgem os vermes, e esses foram os anjos..."."O trabalho de reconstrução é brilhante, o estilo extremamente agradável e, ao fim do livro, o leitor que seguiu os passos de Carlo Ginzburg, em seu passeio através da mente labiríntica do moleiro de Friuli, abandonará com pesar a companhia dessa estranha personagem."The New York Review of Books
  EuniceGomes | Apr 8, 2023 |
This is a most unusual book. It is a summary of the Inquisition's heresy trial of a 16-century Italian miller. The Inquisition kept detailed, verbatim records from their heresy trials and the transcript of this trial was unusually long as a result of the miller's unusual theological and cosmological ideas. One of his ideas about the origin of the world compares the creation of the world to the way cheese is made and the existence of angels is compared to the appearance of maggots out of the cheese.

The author summarizes the trials and tries to determine where the miller's ideas came from based upon the books he said that he had read. The author also finds that some of his ideas likely originated from an oral tradition of the Italian peasants.

The book is interesting for both it's picture of 16th century Italian peasant culture as well as for the miller's unusual ideas. The book should be interesting for people interested in 16th century European history, the Reformation, the Inquisition and theology. The weakness of the book is found in the footnotes which fail to offer the background information a casual reader would like to have. ( )
  M_Clark | Mar 21, 2023 |
I read this in Portuguese many years ago. A recent discussion made me think of it. The 4 stars goes to the fact that close to 20 years later, I still remember so much about it. Also because I am drawn to thinkers, nerds and rebels - they do change the world eventually. ( )
1 vote RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Then there is the fascinating study of Menocchio, the sixteenth-century miller. Historian Carlo Ginzburg anatomizes his intellectual universe by triangulating between Menocchio's few books and the depositions taken at his trial for heresy. In The Cheese and the Worms, Ginzburg combines scholarly excavation with shrewd surmise to suggest how this lettered worker assembled a cosmology--one coprised in part from the rich reserves of the dominantly oral culture, and in part from his intense and methodical, if also fanciful, readings of the few texts he owned.
added by jodi | editThe Owl Has Flown, in [The Gutenberg elegies: the fate of reading in an electronic age], Sven Birkets (Nov 16, 2015)
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carlo Ginzburgprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hadders, GerardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ronteltap, RuudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tedeschi, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tedeschi, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vogogd, Pietha deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Tout ce qui est interessant se passe dans l'ombre. On ne sait rien de la veritable histoire des hommes...CELINE
Dedication
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
a Luisa
First words
His name was Domenico Scandella, but he was called Menocchio.
Quotations
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«Io ho detto che, quanto al mio pensier et creder, tutto era un caos, cioè terra, aere, acqua et foco insieme; et quel volume andando così fece una massa, aponto come si fa il formazo nel latte, et in quel deventorno vermi, et quelli furno li angeli...»
«La maestà de Dio ha dato il Spirito Santo a tutti: a christiani, a heretici, a Turchi, a Giudei, et li ha tutti cari, et tutti si salvano a uno modo... Et vui altri preti et frati, anchora vui volete saper più de Dio, et sette come il demonio, et volete farvi dei in terra, et saper come Iddio a guisa del demonio: et chi più pensa di saper, manco sa.»
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

The now-classic tale of a sixteenth-century miller facing the Roman Inquisition. The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, the miller known as Menocchio, who was accused of heresy during the Inquisition and sentenced to death. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the religious and social conflicts of the society Menocchio lived in. For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: "All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass formed--just as cheese is made out of milk--and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels." Ginzburg's influential book has been widely regarded as an early example of the analytic, case-oriented approach known as microhistory. In a thoughtful new preface, Ginzburg offers his own corollary to Menocchio's story as he considers the discrepancy between the intentions of the writer and what gets written. The Italian miller's story and Ginzburg's work continue to resonate with modern readers because they focus on how oral and written culture are inextricably linked. Menocchio's 500-year-old challenge to authority remains evocative and vital today.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.96)
0.5
1 1
1.5 2
2 11
2.5 2
3 35
3.5 19
4 82
4.5 8
5 64

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 207,012,989 books! | Top bar: Always visible