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“Rebhorn deserves our gratitude for an eminently persuasive translation. . . . I celebrate his accomplishment.”—Edith Grossman
The year is 1348. The Black Death has begun to ravage Europe. Ten young Florentines—seven women and three men—escape the plague-infested city and retreat to the countryside around Fiesole. At their leisure in this isolated and bucolic setting, they spend ten days telling each other stories—tales of romance, tragedy, comedy, and farce—one hundred in all. The result, called by one critic "the greatest short story collection of all time" (Leonard Barkan, Princeton University) is a rich and entertaining celebration of the medley of medieval life.
Witty, earthy, and filled with bawdy irreverence, the one hundred stories of The Decameron offer more than simple escapism; they are also a life-affirming balm for trying times. The Decameron is a joyously comic book that has earned its place in world literature not just because it makes us laugh, but more importantly because it shows us how essential laughter is to the human condition.
Published on the 700th anniversary of Boccaccio’s birth, Wayne A. Rebhorn's new translation of The Decameron introduces a generation of readers to this "rich late-medieval feast" in a "lively, contemporary, American-inflected English" (Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University) even as it retains the distinctly medieval flavor of Boccaccio's rhetorically expressive prose.
An extensive introduction provides useful details about Boccaccio's historical and cultural milieu, the themes and particularities of the text, and the lines of influence flowing into and out of this towering monument of world literature.
This carefully crafted ebook: "The Decameron: The Classic Translation of John Payne" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.
John Payne's translation of The Decameron was originally published in a private printing for The Villon Society, London in 1886.
Comprised of 100 novellas told by ten men and women over a ten day journey fleeing plague-infested Florence, the Decameron is an allegorical work famous for its bawdy portrayals of everyday life, its searing wit and mockery, and its careful adherence to a framed structure. The word "decameron" is derived from the Greek and means "ten days".
Boccaccio drew on many influences in writing the Decameron, and many writers, including Martin Luther, Chaucer, and Keats, later drew inspiration from the book.
Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) was an Italian writer and humanist, one of the founders of the Renaissance. He studied business but abandoned it eventually to pursue his literary interests. In 1350 Boccaccio met Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) (1304-1374), one the most important figures in the beginnings of the Renaissance and Humanism.
J. G. Nichols’s new translation, faithful to the original but rendered in eminently readable modern English, captures the timeless humor of one of the great classics of European literature.
A brilliant new translation of the work that Herman Hesse called “the first great masterpiece of European storytelling.”
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