Books: Resurrection

ARETINO, SCOURGE OF PRINCES —Thomas Caldecot Chubb — Reynal & Hitchcock ($3.50).

Two centuries ago, Pietro Aretino's fame was still such that Joseph Addison could doubt whether a single man alive did not know who he was. Today, except to literary specialists, his name is the mildest of pornographic hearsay. Thomas Caldecot Chubb's somewhat frumpish but thoroughgoing biography should do a lot toward resurrecting him.

Starting as a hill town cobbler's son, Aretino became the most powerful and popular writer in Europe, was perhaps the greatest and certainly the dirtiest master of low vernacular prior to Louis-Ferdinand Celine. Through blackmail, stark flattery, incredible...

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