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Giordano Bruno – Italiaanse Dialogen * Boeke/Kronen/Lamoen (isbn 9026316372)

For the first time scriptures of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) are available in Dutch. Bruno was an influential philosopher from Italy. In Italy he lived during the late Renaissance, when he started to travel Europe (Paris, London, Prague, etc.) he was involved in the early renaissance, since the renaissance started in Bruno’s own country. Bruno was fanatically anti-Aristotle and pro Copernicus. He wrote esoteric texts in Latin and more philosophical in Italian. Most of the Italian texts were written during his stay in London and it is these from which an anthology is taken. Unfortunately no mnemonic, Lullian or magical writings, but more easthetical, philosophical ones. Not all texts (that are written as conversations between different people) are translated, but the translaters (Boeke and Krone) took the texts so that all typical ‘Brunian’ standpoints are dealt with. The texts are elucidated by Lamoen who did a fine job. The texts aren’t very easy to read, though well-translated. Bruno uses numerous layers of mythology with seemed to have been relatively normal in his days, but doesn’t make things very easy in our own time. Further the whole book is fairly academical. It is one of the first times that Bruno is available for a wider audience, so I suppose we have to see this book as a transition and hope that even more accessible books will appear in the near future.

Anyway, the publisher Ambo made a very beautiful book with a tastefull minimalistic layout. The texts are (as mentioned) translated very well, are explained, there are notes, an extensive index, all you need for a proper book. Fairly expensive, but worth the money if you are interested in this controvertial Italian thinker who ended at the stake. Hopefully his magical texts will be available in an understandable version sometime soon as well.

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