New book: Bologna & the Tarot, ed. Vitali and Howard

This is a revised, much expanded translation of 2020's Bologna e i Tarocchi, now translating into English a vast amount of Tarot-history-related literature for an international readership. expected publication Nov. 2022. For the translations alone, all accompanied by transcriptions of the works in their original language, THF members will want to secure a copy at the pre-order special price. They represent about ten years' collaboration between Andrea and me. Some of them are already on the English side of the website LeTarot, but scattered among various essays and a lot not translated at all.

Some highlights of particular interest to THF members:
  • Translations of all or part of several tarocchi appropriati in the narrow sense of casual literary works applying tarot subjects to people, including one Florentine, about street prostitutes, a few stanzas; five Bolognese, three addressed to ladies, one to clerics, one to parishioners, all complete, but one just names; one Ferrarese, to ladies, complete, stanzas from two others; and one Lombard, to ladies in Pavia, complete. Mentions of others.
  • Translations of selections from about 25 Bologna-related authors (in 20 sections), all pertaining to tarocchi or tarocchini, including several that address all the triumphs. For example, we report in its entirety a very funny 17th c. poem by Bartolomeo Banchini, "He plays Tarocchi with his Woman, and smeschia all the granda," in Bolognese dialect, one triumph per stanza, in order. Another favorite of mine is the analysis of the sonnet "Per far una partida a taruchein," tying it to a particular year in the Seven Years' War (better, I think, than Zorli's in Il tarocchino bolognese). To understand some of the works requires knowing particular strategies in the game (e.g., Sminchiare, Granda) and Bolognese game terms, which are explained with reference to 17th-19th century sources. And of course Andrea fills us in on the authors' lives and the historical references made in the works.
  • Regarding the words tarot, tarocchi, bagatella, and variants, translations and paraphrases from hard to find Italian sources as well as numerous etymological dictionary entries translated from various languages and dialects. Besides Andrea's essays (to which I contributed material from THF), there is one by Franco Motta, professor of history at the University of Turino.
  • A rather full discussion of the "equal papi" rule in Bologna and Piedmont by Ross Caldwell, situating it in the context of the historical documents, of course translated, with additional comments by me in another essay.
  • Analyses of the symbolism in some of the cards, supported by documents from the time, by Andrea. I do the same in another essay, specifically in relation to the Bolognese cards and their order.
You will also see particular points of view by different contributors. Clothing expert Elisabetta Gnignera argues, with numerous details, that the clothing in the "Charles VI" points to Emilia-Romagna as its place of origin. Alain Bougearel analyzes the three orders of triumphs in terms of the sequence of pentagonal numbers. I connect the 18th century Bolognese cartomancy document with Etteilla. Andrea presents documents and arguments against not taking seriously the inscription on the 17th century painting that declares Prince Francesco Fibbia the inventor of the game. Besides Alain, Ross, and myself, another THF member represented is "Huck," but in footnotes, one of them rather long summarizing his 5x14 theory.

Where available, we have tried to cite English-language publications along with Italian ones, and to indicate if the originals are currently accessible on the internet, giving the relevant databases. (That was part of my job as co-editor, as well as coaxing authors to give explanations of terms and history that Italians take for granted but others might not know.)

To pre-order, see the link to the publisher at ... -the-tarot
Last edited by mikeh on 18 Dec 2022, 22:33, edited 1 time in total.