|The Imperiale Family|
As mentioned in the previous post, Clizio is the alter ego of an aristocrat from Genoa, Giovanni Vincenzo Imperiale or Imperiali (1582-1648), now quite unknown but then universally praised as a master of Baroque poetry as well as an important politician and great art collector. Clizio tells Adonis his own story, partly based on Imperiale's. As it was quite usual among urban intellectuals, he blames the Court with its intrigues and exalts the so-called "simple values of country life." Such people obviously would never leave their rich, refined habitat, but it was not all about rhetorical commonplace: Imperiale actually experienced social troubles, so did Marino; the same had already happened to Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso, and many others. Court life was tough, even dangerous.
"Oh, much more gladly here do I listen
to the whispering of waters and leaves
rather than those noisy, silly halls
whirling with hoarse and vulgar yells! see Dante, Inferno 3.22 ff, esp. 28
A herb, a fruit, a one-faced Fortune
hide much more quiet in themselves
than the hard-earned bread dispensed by
a mean prince in ill-seasoned dishes."