1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grazzini, Antonio Francesco
GRAZZINI, ANTONIO FRANCESCO (1503–1583), Italian author, was born at Florence on the 22nd of March 1503, of good family both by his father’s and mother’s side. Of his youth and education all record appears to be lost, but he probably began early to practise as an apothecary. In 1540 he was one of the founders of the Academy of the Humid (degli Umidi) afterwards called “della Fiorentina,” and later took a prominent part in the establishment of the more famous Accademia della Crusca. In both societies he was known as Il Lasca or Leuciscus, and this pseudonym is still frequently substituted for his proper name. His temper was what the French happily call a difficult one, and his life was consequently enlivened or disturbed by various literary quarrels. His Humid brethren went so far as to expel him for a time from the society—the chief ground of offence being apparently his ruthless criticism of the “Arameans,” a party of the academicians who maintained that the Florentine or Tuscan tongue was derived from the Hebrew, the Chaldee, or some other branch of the Semitic. He was readmitted in 1566, when his friend Salviati was “consul” of the academy. His death took place on the 18th of February 1583. Il Lasca ranks as one of the great masters of Tuscan prose. His style is copious and flexible; abundantly idiomatic, but without any affectation of being so, it carries with it the force and freshness of popular speech, while it lacks not at the same time a flavour of academic culture. His principal works are Le Cene (1756), a collection of stories in the manner of Boccaccio, and a number of prose comedies, La Gelosia (1568), La Spiritata (1561), I Parentadi, La Arenga, La Sibilla, La Pinzochera, L’ Arzigogolo. The stories, though of no special merit as far as the plots are concerned, are told with verve and interest. A number of miscellaneous poems, a few letters and Four Orations to the Cross complete the list of Grazzini’s extant works.
He also edited the works of Berni, and collected Tutti i trionfi, larri, mascherate, e canti carnascialaschi, andati per Firenze dal tempo del magnifico Lorenzo de’ Medici fino all’ anno 1559. In 1868 Adamo Rossi published in his Ricerche per le biblioteche di Perugia three “novelle” by Grazzini, from a MS. of the 16th century in the “Comunale” of Perugia: and in 1870 a small collection of those poems which have been left unpublished by previous editors appeared at Poggibonsi, Alcune Poesie inedite. See Pietro Fanfani’s “Vita del Lasca,” prefixed to his edition of the Opere di A. Grazzini (Florence, 1857).