The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the religious and social. Professor Ginzburg’s book deals with an isolated heretical individual, not with a heretical . The Cheese and the Worms is enthralling reading. Carlo Ginzburg. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Translated by John and Anne C. Tedeschi. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins.

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Jul 25, Karen rated it really liked it. The fact that Mennochio, our miller, had access to books, was able to read and write vinzburg unusual for a rural peasant coupled with an inquisitive mind could produce someone who questioned the established views.

Ginzburg makes this case compellingly.

He explains though it sometimes seems like snd doing little more than speculating how traditions of oral culture combined with the burgeoning literary culture to produce Menocchio’s beliefs. This is an insightful book for all of us who assume European peasants were illiterate, uneducated, non-thinking folk. And of course, his belief that man has cheesee souls, two spirits and a body”, his social rebellion against the priests who “sell merchandise” his personal judgement on the various sacraments, make for a highly original character.

Menocchio’s literacy may be accounted for by the establishment of schools in the villages surrounding Friuli: The tale Ginzberg weaves has tantalizing possibilities, but it suffers from two general flaws. The books meanings were distorted by Menocchio.

It’s so easy to access books about the rich and powerful in Renaissance Italy; seldom can one get a detailed presentation of fhe living a fairly common life.

The Cheese and the Worms

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. There was too much pomp, so Menocchio wanted a new life. Thanks to the second, words were at his disposal to express the obscure, inarticulate vision of the world that fermented within him.

Then he believed that he would not have ginzbur his family. The inquisitor claimed Menocchio was a heretic. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. No complete list exists of the books that Menocchio might have read which influenced his view of the cosmos.

Carlo Ginzburg with a new preface translated by John and Anne C.

The Cheese and the Worms: Carlo – I am sorry, but your book ‘The Cheese and the Worms’ was a chore to finish. Ginzburg in his wanderings through the labyrinthine mind of the miller of the Friuli will take leave of this strange and quirky old man with genuine regret. What is this Holy Spirit? Menocchio was a literate peasant a rarity so it’s tempting to This mirco-history concerns the life and times of one Domenico Scandella, a miller known as ‘Menocchio’, who was put on trial during the Inquisition for conceiving of and promulgating a blasphemous cosmos in a town of the north-eastern Italian state of Friuli.


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

Historian whose fields of interest range from the Italian Renaissance to early modern European History, with contributions in art history, literary studies, popular cultural beliefs, and the theory of historiography. In the sentences or snatches of sentences wrung out of books he found the instruments to formulate and defend his ideas. The second level of this book is Ginzburg’s quest to reconstruct how Menocchio came to his bizarre cosmology, which at various points seem to correspond to other movements—Lutheranism, Venetian Anabaptism, Socinianism, radical humanism, and even Hinduism, shamanism, and ancient Greek philosophy—but in its entirety cannot be identified with any of them.

We know enough, however, to look more closely at the cathedral of Western Christendom, to notice the cracks in its foundation and in its stained glass, cracks that seemed to but did not really appear and suddenly crumble in the Enlightenment.

The Cheese and the Worms – Wikipedia

A great book all around, and highly recommended. The book is qnd notable example of cultural historythe history of mentalities and microhistory. Professor Ginzburg stresses that the peasant culture existed in its own right, and was not merely the cast-off ideas of a higher culture. Join hceese email listserv and receive monthly updates on the latest titles. May 08, Josh rated it really liked it. Exhaustive analysis of Menocchio’s library reveals a highly creative and individual reading of the few texts at his disposal, raising the question to what extent they can be understood as “sources transmitting” ideas in any straightforward way.

Beyond Menocchio, Ginzburg is able to give inklings about the early Renaissance culture ; his claim that Menocchio has used an unspoken “popular tradution” as a cradle for his idea makes me feel skeptical, for he was most probably not from the poorer, popular citizens of Montereale he knew how to read, had travelled and I saw more worrms Menocchio an example of how the ceese of books helped forge one man’s opinion.

Sure, he was uncommonly literate, and This book is so hyped in academic circles, that chees was perhaps setting itself up as a disappointment before I even cracked it open. Messy, uninfluential but individual. He had originally attributed his ideas to “diabolical inspiration” and the influence of the devil before admitting that he had simply thought up the ideas himself.

While the beliefs of the hierarchies ca Fantastic study based on trial records of a sixteenth century Italian miller charged with heresy.

So by 16th-century standards Menocchio lived in a relatively free society; and his village was tucked away in the mountains. All these are more likely than Menocchio tapping into a primeval Indo-European peasant tradition of pantheism untouched by Roman or Christian religion.


Knowing how Menocchio read and interpreted these texts might provide insight into his views which led to his execution for proselytizing heretical ideas. Poi, grazie ad una minuziosa ricerca negli archivi, presenta la storia del Menocchio, al tempo Domenico Scandella.

The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller by Carlo Ginzburg

I was expecting cyeese along the lines of ‘ A World Lit Only by Fire ,’ or like ‘A Distant Mirror,’ but instead I got an excruciatingly detailed analysis of the reading habits xheese religious thought processes of a 16th century Miller. I did not like the topic as compared works other topics about which I have read, but the technique and artistry of the author and the ingenuity of Menocchio prove to rectify the iniquities of the Church. The book offers a glimpse into an alternative and generally unheard from world-view that is full of so much imagination on the part of the miller that it should put many gijzburg fiction writer to shame.

Gli atti del processo sono meno noiosi di quanto si potrebbe pensare. Many of these books were loaned to Menocchio and were common at the time.

It’s easy to recommend this book to my friends who share an interest in the period of the Renaissance and share the worry that our societies all too often want to destroy not just silence dissent. I really enjoyed this book, the first half of it especially. Who knew OK a lot chsese scholars but not someone like me grain grinding mills where the Starbucks of their day where people would gather, talk and debate.

Menocchio benefited from Venetian anti-clericalism when he was first on trial for heresy in Ginzburg describes another miller living at the same time in the mountains of Modena who had similar heresies to Menocchio.

The most holy majesty decreed that these should be God and the angels, and among that number of angels there was also God, he too having been created out of that mass at the same time, and he was named lord with four captains, Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

Jul 21, Katie rated it really liked it Shelves: Quindi abbandonate il grembiule wormd mettetevi comodi.

It’s microcosm history, and it’s hard to categorize because Ginzburg is taking a lot of liberties in saying what people were thinking and feeling when all we have is what they said.