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utorak, 1. veljače 2011.

Ivan Gundulić

Ivan Gundulić

Ivan (Dživo) Franov Gundulić (also Gianfrancesco Gondola; 8 January 1589 - 8 December 1638; Nickname: Mačica) is the most celebrated Croatian Baroque poet from the Republic of Ragusa. His work embodies central characteristics of Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation: religious fervor, insistence on "vanity of this world" and zeal in opposition to "infidels." Gundulić's major works—the epic poem Osman, the pastoral play Dubravka, and the religious poem Tears of the Prodigal Son (Croatian: Suze sina razmetnoga; based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son) are examples of Baroque stylistic richness and, frequently, rhetorical excess.

Ivan Gundulić was born in Dubrovnik in a wealthy Ragusan noble family (see House of Gundulić) in 8 January 1589. Son of Francesco di Francesco Gundulić (senator and diplomat, once the Ragusan envoy to Constantinople and councillor of the republic to the Pope Gregory VIII) and Djiva Gradic (de Gradi). He received an excellent education. He probably studied the humanities with the Jesuit Silvestro Muzio and philosophy with Ridolfo Ricasoli[2] and Camillo Camilli (*Siena -+1615), who in late 1590 had been appointed rettore delle scuole e professore di umane lettere in Ragusa. After that he studied Roman law and jurisprudence in general, where he held numerous offices for the Great Council of the Republic. In 1608, when he was nineteen, he became a member of the Veliko vijece (Great Council). Twice, in 1615 and 1619, he held the temporary function of knez (commissary or governor) of Konavle, an area southeast of the city.

At the age of thirty he married Nicoleta Sorkočević (Sorgo)(+1644) who bore him three sons, Frano (Francesco), Mato(Matheo), Šiško (Segismondo) and two daughters, Maria (Mara) Gondola and Dziva (Giovanna). Fran Dživo Gundulić and Mato Gundulić (1636–1684) fought in the thirty-years war under Wallenstein; the youngest died on January 16, 1682, and was by then the Rector of the Republic. From 1621 until his death Gundulić held various offices in the city government. In 1636 he became a senator, in 1637 a judge, and in 1638 a member of the Small Council (Malo vijeće). Ir s believed that had he lived a little longer - he died of an intense fever, product of an inflammation in his ribs ( Folio 15 Libr. Mort. N°274, Adi le Xbre 1638 Ragusa) - he would probably have been elected knez of the Dubrovnik Republic, the highest function that was held for one month only by meritorious gentlemen at least fifty years old. His father, who died in 1624, had been knez five times, and Gundulić's son Šišmundo Gundulić later four times. He began his literary career by writing poems and staging melodramas that became popular in Dubrovnik. But Ivan published only his larger works. His earlier work, which he referred to as a "brood of darkness", is now lost. His first publications were in 1621, when he rewrote several of David's Psalms and wrote several religious poems. He then wrote his famous Suze sina razmetnoga (Tears of the Prodigal Son) in 1622, composed of three "Cries": Sagriješenje (Sin), Spoznanje (Insight) and Skrušenje (Humility). In this poem Gundulić presented the three basic categories of Christian faith: sin, repentance and redemption through contrasts such as between life and death, purity and sin, and Heaven and Hell. In 1637 when Ferdinand II of Tuscany married, Gundulić wrote a poem to honor the event, he noted that "all of Slavic people (Slovinski narod) honor you on this occasion".

His most famous play is Dubravka, a pastoral written in 1628, where Ivan cherishes the former glory of Dubrovnik and uses contrasts like freedom/slavery, beauty/ugliness, truth/lies. It contains some of the most famous verses in Croatian literature:

O beautiful, o beloved, o sweet freedom,
God has given us all the treasures in you,
you are the true source of all our glory,
you are the only decoration of this Dubrava.
All silver, all gold, all human lives
cannot repay your pure beauty!

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