The Decameron Eighth Day in Perspective
Divided into ten days of ten novellas each, Boccaccio’s Decameron is one of the literary gems of the fourteenth century. The Decameron Eighth Day in Perspective is an interpretive guide to the stories of the text’s Day Eight – a day dedicated to tales of tricks and practical jokes. By drawing on literary precursors such as fabliaux, epic, philosophy, exempla, Dante’s Commedia, and scripture, and by meditating on the dynamics of civic engagement in fourteenth-century Florence, Boccaccio develops in these stories of jests a self-consciously literary representation of the Florentine social imaginary.
The essays in this volume, all written by prominent scholars, survey previous scholarship and open up new cultural and historical perspectives on Boccaccio’s sophisticated art of storytelling. They analyze both the literary sources that Boccaccio’s comic narratives transform, as well as the political, legal, and ethical contexts with which they engage. Each contributor tackles a single tale, yet their essays also register major themes and concerns that recur throughout Day Eight, allowing for close connections among the essays.
- Series: Toronto Italian Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 296 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.3in
"This collection of fine essays breaks new ground in our critical understanding of the tales belonging to Day Eight in the Decameron. The contributions are independently rigorous and original and many will serve as the definitive treatments of these individual stories. Several of the essays draw upon fields outside of literary studies, such as legal and judicial history, social history, visual arts, and even geography. As a result, readers will have a new appreciation for the importance of these tales from a multidisciplinary perspective."
Kristina Marie Olson, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, George Mason University
"The Decameron Eighth Day in Perspective offers a serious advance in state-of-the-art research. Given the challenges of the tales of trickery in Day Eight, this is no small accomplishment. Almost all of the contributors offer intriguing new perspectives on stories that, in the wake of these analyses, should receive more critical attention. Situating the work in historical contexts, these essays provide these stories new and richer meanings, and encompass the full range of Boccaccio’s world: legal, philosophical, social, Biblical, literary, mercantile. The strong scholarship will help other scholars and students to understand the complexities of Boccaccio and his world."
Martin Eisner, Department of Romance Studies, Duke University
Author InformationWilliam Robins is president of Victoria University and associate professor of English and Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.
Table of contents
1. The Tale of Gulfardo and Ambruogia (Decameron VIII.1)
2. Obscene Exchanges (Decameron VIII.2)
3. The Artist and the Police: Calandrino’s Invisibility and the Legal Fictions of Decameron VIII.3
4. Monna Piccarda, Ciutazza, and the Provost of Fiesole: An Absence of Beauty (Decameron VIII.4)
Katherine A. Brown
5. The Jokesters and the Judge (Decameron VIII.5)
William Robins and Leah Faibisoff
6. The Tale of Calandrino and the Stolen Pig (Decameron VIII.6)
7. The Scholar and the Widow: Corrupt Appetite and Moral Failure in Society’s Intellectual Elite (Decameron VIII.7)
8. Doing Unto Others, or Sienese Polyamory (Decameron VIII.8)
9. The Three Faults of Master Simone (Decameron VIII.9)
10. The Tale of Salabaetto and Iancofiore (Decameron VIII.10)
Subjects and Courses