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The Decameron [Norton Critical Edition]

af Giovanni Boccaccio

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307264,998 (3.96)3
The stories have been chosen to represent the most notable of the author's themes and the most characteristic and influential examples of his narrative technique. All are in new translations by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella which successfully capture Boccaccio's variations in diction and sentence structure."Contemporary Reactions" includes Petrarch's letters to Boccaccio after completion of The Decameron and the responses of such Italian Renaissance figures as Leonardo Bruni, Filippo Villani, Giannozzo Manetti, and Ludovico Dolce, all of which have been translated for this edition."Modern Criticism" includes interpretations by Ugo Foscolo, Francesco De Sanctis, Erich Auerbach, Aldo D. Scaglione, Wayne Booth, Tzvetan Todorov, Robert J. Clements, and Marga Cottino-Jones.Thomas G. Bergin's important historical overview is published here for the first time, while Ben Lawton's study of Pier Paolo Pasolini's filming of The Decameron and a general essay by the editors were written specially for this volume.… (mere)
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Nice selection of tales from Boccaccio's classic work--I really only wanted to get a taste anyway. I especially liked the stories about Saladin and the three rings; the monk Rustico and putting the Devil in Hell; Isabetta and the Pot of Basil (the basis for Keats' poem); Peronella and the Jar (clearly taken directly from Apuleius); and the Abbess awaking in the dark. The Norton edition has a lot of contemporary and modern criticism, including a final look at the overall meaning of the work, which I agree seems to come down to love leading to fame or earthly glory. ( )
  saholc | Aug 3, 2014 |
How Giovanni Boccaccio avoided a horrible death at the hands of the Church is amazing. In this selection of 21 of the 100 stories that comprise the Decameron, Boccaccio puts clergymen in scenes of debauchery that would amaze even a modern reader. In one of the excellent pieces of contemporary criticism included in this volume, it is pointed out that the Church was fairly tolerant of non-heretical criticism until the Reformation, whereupon the Decameron was promptly banned. Boccaccio himself became ashamed of the work later in life and would have undoubtedly had all copies burned if possible. Thank goodness he wasn't able to do that because The Decameron is apparently considered one of the most influential early renaissance works (maybe even influencing Chaucer to write The Canterbury Tales, for example).

I don't want this review to get flagged, so I won't go into any detail about the stories. Suffice it to say that sex, greed, and general bawdiness, often involving clergy and even cloistered nuns are featured prominently in the stories, which Boccaccio claims that he wrote for the entertainment of young ladies.

Pretty good stuff, but not for the faint of heart. ( )
  ninefivepeak | Mar 21, 2010 |
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Preface
 
The present edition of selections from Boccaccio's Decameron contains new translations of twenty-one tales, including representative novelle from each of the ten days of storytelling, as well as the Author's Introduction, the Prologue to the Fourth Day, and the Author's Conclusion, all in their entirety.
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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The stories have been chosen to represent the most notable of the author's themes and the most characteristic and influential examples of his narrative technique. All are in new translations by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella which successfully capture Boccaccio's variations in diction and sentence structure."Contemporary Reactions" includes Petrarch's letters to Boccaccio after completion of The Decameron and the responses of such Italian Renaissance figures as Leonardo Bruni, Filippo Villani, Giannozzo Manetti, and Ludovico Dolce, all of which have been translated for this edition."Modern Criticism" includes interpretations by Ugo Foscolo, Francesco De Sanctis, Erich Auerbach, Aldo D. Scaglione, Wayne Booth, Tzvetan Todorov, Robert J. Clements, and Marga Cottino-Jones.Thomas G. Bergin's important historical overview is published here for the first time, while Ben Lawton's study of Pier Paolo Pasolini's filming of The Decameron and a general essay by the editors were written specially for this volume.

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