Boccaccio: Decameron (Landmarks of World Literature)

Boccaccio: Decameron (Landmarks of World Literature)

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David Wallace
Cambridge University Press, 7/5/2010
EAN 9780521388511, ISBN10: 0521388511

Paperback, 132 pages, 20.3 x 12.7 x 0.8 cm
Language: English

In Boccaccio's innovative text, ten young people leave Florence to escape the Black Death of 1348, and organize their collective life in the countryside through the pleasure and discipline of story-telling. David Wallace guides the reader through their one hundred novelle, which explore both new and familiar conflicts from private and public spheres of life with unprecedented subtlety, urgency and humour. He emphasises the relationship between Decameron and the precocious vitality of Florentine culture in Boccaccio's time. He also discusses gender issues and the influence of the text particularly on Chaucer and the novel.

Part I. The Making of the Decameron
1. The Decameron as a landmark of world literature
2. Boccaccio, Naples and Florence before the Decameron
Part II. The Decameron
3. Title and preface
4. First Day (Introduction)
(i) the plague
(ii) the mise-en-scene
5. First Day
the saint's life and the powers of language
6. Second Day
fortune, female character and the impulse to trade
7. Third Day
sex, voice and morals
8. Fourth Day (introduction)
Boccaccio's apology for Florentine prose
9. Fourth Day
love and feudal aristocracy
10. Fifth Day
romance, class difference, social negotiation
11. Sixth Day
Florentine society and associational form
12. Seventh Day
controlling domestic space
13. Eighth Day
the scholar and the widow
14. Ninth Day
the mystery of Calandrino
15. Tenth Day
magnificance and myths of power
16. The return to Florence and the author's conclusion
Part III. After the Decameron
Guide to further reading.