The epic poem of
Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516–1532), one
of the most influential texts of Renaissance writing, shows not only a precise
cognition of early modern cartographic knowledge, as Alexandre Doroszlaï has
illustrated it in
Ptolemée et l’hippogriffe (1998), but also performs a complex
transmedial translation of cartographic depictions. The journeys around the globe
of the Christian paladins Ruggiero and Astolfo narrated by Ariosto are, in fact,
performative negotiations between literary and cartographic processes. Riding the
Hippograph, the hybrid vehicle par excellence, Ruggiero and Astolfo fly over the
Earth as if they were flying over a map. Their journeys do not merely transmedially
translate the course to the West pursued by Early Modern Europe. Rather, by
translating the map Ariosto performs a new geopoetics that turns away from the
symbolic dominance of the East (or “Ent-Ostung”, as Peter Sloterdijk has usefully
called it) and offers us one of the first poetic versions of modern globalization.
arcadia publishes articles in German, English, and French, which take a broader historical, theoretical, or cultural approach to literature. Especially welcome are papers that focus on the intercultural and interdisciplinary relations of literature.