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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.
“The Decameron reads in some ways as a guide to social distancing and self-isolation.” —The New York Times
“The 14th-century Italian book that shows us how to survive coronavirus.” —New Statesman
A complete edition of the hilarious, bawdy, irreverent masterpiece of medieval Italy—and the inspiration for the film The Little Hours—in an acclaimed translation
In the summer of 1348, as the Black Death ravages their city, ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside. They amuse themselves by each telling a story a day for the ten days they are destined to remain there—a hundred stories of love, adventure and surprising twists of fate. Less preoccupied with abstract concepts of morality or religion than with earthly values, the tales range from the bawdy Peronella hiding her lover in a tub to Ser Cepperello, who, despite his unholy effrontery, becomes a Saint. The result is a towering monument of European literature and a masterpiece of imaginative narrative.
This is the first edition of John Payne’s acclaimed translation of The Decameron. His introduction illuminates the worlds of Boccaccio and of his storytellers, showing Boccaccio as a master of vivid and exciting prose fiction.
Bawdy and moving, hilarious and reflective - these stories offer the very best of Boccaccio's Decameron in a brilliant, playful new translation.
This hugely enjoyable volume collects the best stories of Boccaccio's masterwork in a fresh, accessible new translation by Peter Hainsworth. It includes such celebrated, thought-provoking tales as 'Isabella and the Pot of Basil' (famously adapted by Keats) and 'Patient Griselda' alongside many boisterous and daring stories featuring faithless wives, philandering priests and curious nuns.
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.”
by Giovanni Boccaccio
Decameron is a medieval allegory and masterpiece by Giovanni Boccaccio, which consists in 100 tales by ten young people, three noblemen and seven ladies, in ten days. The story is set in Florence, Italy, during the time of Black Death. The young people leave the plague-ridden Florence to go to a villa in the countryside for two weeks, and entertain themselves with the stories. Although the background is grim, the stories are nothing but.
Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian author and poet. He began writing in Naples. That is where he fell in love with the Fiammetta that he made famous in his work. Most of his Il Filostrato, which treats Troilus and Cressida’s love, has been translated by Chaucer. In 1358 he completed his great work, Decameron. Bocaccio, along with Petrarch, who was his friend, were important Renaissance humanists. Boccaccio is particularly notable for his dialogue, of which it has been said that it surpasses in verisimilitude all of his contemporaries.
Project Bilingual (A division of Wolf Pup Books) is a continuing project making available great original Italian writers' texts along with their English translation. This edition, which offers after every original language paragraph its translation, makes both grammar and vocabulary checks as painless as possible. Idiomatic forms that could be overlooked can be easily detected.
Furthermore, large paragraphs have been broken down to much smaller units so that the check is as effortless as possible. We do hope that by reading Italian writers that defined the language itself or whose work permeated the Italian culture, you will be able to get the maximum benefit from this language series. Although this edition is not a replacement for traditional methods of learning language, it is a very powerful tool to speed up the process once you have attained the intermediate level and beyond.
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