The Decameron

De (autor) Introducere de G. H. McWilliam
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 27 Mar 2003
In the summer of 1348, as the Black Death ravages their city, ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside...

Taken from the Greek, meaning 'ten-day event', Boccaccio's Decameron sees his characters amuse themselves by each telling a story a day, for the ten days of their confinement - a hundred stories of love and adventure, life and death, and surprising twists of fate. Less preoccupied with abstract concepts of morality or religion than earthly values, the tales range from the bawdy Peronella, hiding her lover in a tub, to Ser Cepperallo, who, despite his unholy effrontery, becomes a Saint. The result is a towering monument of European literature and a masterpiece of imaginative narrative that has inspired writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare .

Translated with an introduction by G.H. McWilliam

'McWilliam's finest work, his translation of Boccaccio's Decameron remains one of the most successful and lauded books in the series'
The Times
Citește tot Restrânge
Toate formatele și edițiile
Toate formatele și edițiile Preț Express
Paperback (18) 2778 lei  3-5 săpt. +1358 lei  999-0 zile
  Wordsworth Classics – November 2004 2778 lei  3-5 săpt. +1358 lei  999-0 zile
  Oxford University Press – 08 May 2008 7390 lei  11-16 zile +1944 lei  6-12 zile
  Penguin Books – 27 Mar 2003 8344 lei  3-5 săpt. +1942 lei  6-12 zile
  CREATESPACE – 10746 lei  3-5 săpt. +803 lei  12-20 zile
  10933 lei  3-5 săpt. +818 lei  12-20 zile
  SMK Books – 22 Mar 2012 13033 lei  3-5 săpt. +1401 lei  12-20 zile
  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – 02 Dec 2015 14150 lei  3-5 săpt. +1069 lei  12-20 zile
  BENEDICTION CLASSICS – 20 May 2020 14959 lei  3-5 săpt. +1616 lei  12-20 zile
  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – 15400 lei  3-5 săpt. +1166 lei  12-20 zile
  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – 02 Dec 2015 15683 lei  3-5 săpt. +1188 lei  12-20 zile
  CREATESPACE – 15992 lei  3-5 săpt. +1211 lei  12-20 zile
  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform – 16123 lei  3-5 săpt. +1222 lei  12-20 zile
  CREATESPACE – 16497 lei  3-5 săpt. +1251 lei  12-20 zile
  TREDITION CLASSICS – November 2011 18594 lei  3-5 săpt. +2020 lei  12-20 zile
  Simon & Brown – 09 Nov 2018 21842 lei  3-5 săpt. +1667 lei  12-20 zile
  CREATESPACE – 22015 lei  3-5 săpt. +1681 lei  12-20 zile
  Theophania Publishing – 28298 lei  3-5 săpt. +2170 lei  12-20 zile
  Outlook Verlag – 25 Sep 2019 33674 lei  3-5 săpt. +2491 lei  12-20 zile
Hardback (8) 9285 lei  22-33 zile +3363 lei  6-12 zile
  EVERYMAN – 25 Sep 2009 9285 lei  22-33 zile +3363 lei  6-12 zile
  Flame Tree Publishing – 09 May 2023 15863 lei  Precomandă
  BENEDICTION CLASSICS – 20 May 2020 20580 lei  3-5 săpt. +2240 lei  12-20 zile
  Everyman's Library – September 2009 21873 lei  3-5 săpt. +1669 lei  12-20 zile
  SMK Books – 03 Apr 2018 22200 lei  3-5 săpt. +2420 lei  12-20 zile
  Pomona Press – 04 Nov 2008 25037 lei  3-5 săpt. +2425 lei  12-20 zile
  Simon & Brown – 09 Nov 2018 28650 lei  3-5 săpt. +2116 lei  12-20 zile
  Outlook Verlag – 25 Sep 2019 47439 lei  3-5 săpt. +3523 lei  12-20 zile

Preț: 8344 lei

Puncte Express: 125

Preț estimativ în valută:
1615 1737$ 1418£

Carte disponibilă

Livrare economică 13-27 aprilie
Livrare express 29 martie-04 aprilie pentru 2941 lei

Preluare comenzi: 021 569.72.76


ISBN-13: 9780140449303
ISBN-10: 0140449302
Pagini: 1072
Dimensiuni: 129 x 198 x 45 mm
Greutate: 0.72 kg
Ediția: Revised
Editura: Penguin Books
Colecția Penguin Classics
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom

Notă biografică

Boccaccio (1313-1375) was an Italian writer of both verse and prose. He wrote The Decameron over a period of ten years, and is also the author of Teseide and Filostrato.

G H McWilliam was the first Professor of Italian at Leicester University.He has also translated Verga's Cavalleria Rusticana for Penguin Classics


'This new translation of The Decameron is especially valuable for the manner in which it accurately imitates the divergent tones and structures of Boccaccio's prose. Boccaccio's art is an exercise in brinkmanship which leads characters and readers alike into a turmoil of moral and social disorder only to retrieve them within his formal literary structure at the end. In common with the main text, this introduction will prove very useful both to the general readerand to the student unable to read in the Italian.'Christopher C. Stevens. Italian Studies, XLIX, 1994



Just as Hamlet has been described as full of quotations, so the Decameron may at times seem to be full of stories we have heard before. That so many later writers have drawn on this work is of course a testimony to Boccaccio's skill as a storyteller: few if any of these tales were of his own invention, but ߝ as is often said about jokes ߝ it is the way they are told that counts. To imply a comparison with telling jokes is not inapposite and is not to depreciate these stories: true words can be spoken in jest. The complexities of this work are such that not only the book as a whole, but each of the hundred tales has acquired its own extensive critical bibliography. Nevertheless, the essential thing is as always (in the words of Pope) simply to

. . . read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ
(Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 233ߝ4)

which in this case involves being alive to the subtle play of the writer's mind over his narrative, and being especially sensitive to Boccaccio's nods and winks. In his Conclusion to the work he gives some advice to readers who might be offended by the inclusion of bawdy tales: they can easily check first with the summaries given at the head of the tales and thus avoid any which are likely to upset them (or, although Boccaccio does not quite say this, use the same method if they want to find those tales in order to read them). In his Conclusion he says he could hardly have avoided mentioning everyday objects, such as pestles and mortars, which might be thought by some to have a sexual significance, and in saying this he draws attention to their significance for the sake of any reader who might have missed it.

It is natural, when reading a book of short stories, particularly when they are placed in a fictional framework, to look for some purpose in their arrangement, and in the Decameron it is not difficult to find reasons for the way they are set out. Against what might be called the ''blackground'' of the 1348 plague in Florence, with its breakdown of law and order and the usual decencies, a civilized assembly of seven young women and three young men in a villa outside the city and their entertaining tales stand out in bright relief. At the same time it should be recognized that the reader does not remain conscious of this background for very long, as the stories themselves distract him. Similarly, order is given to the tales by various devices: many of them are grouped under common themes; they may be placed in opposition to each other, comic ones to contrast with solemn ones, and so on. All this is true, but it does not mean that the work as a whole is a kind of bourgeois epic, as has been suggested, or even simply one long story. Short stories are by their nature enclosed works, each with a beginning, a middle and an end, and however many there are, and however they are arranged, they remain separate. They are like sonnets in this respect and, like sonnets arranged in a sequence, they are strikingly ill suited to the telling of one long tale. Like a group of sonnets, however, they do have to be arranged in some fashion, they do have to be put down one after another, and their author does well to place each sonnet or short story in a position where it may be seen at its best, and this Boccaccio has done. There are patterns to be found, but they are such as reveal themselves to later consideration rather than in the act of reading.

It is also natural for anyone to ponder what each story adds up to, what its point is, or perhaps what moral comes out of it. In the Decameron we are again and again encouraged to do this, although often the encouragement is not explicit but implicit in the actions of the stories themselves. The storytellers frequently appear to be little concerned with moral issues. For instance the merchant Landolfo Rufolo (ii.4), after losing all his money by unwise investment in stock, decides to become a pirate (as an indirect result of which he eventually prospers); there is no adverse comment on this kind of business diversification, merely a slight hint of extenuation when we are told that he ''devoted himself to making other people's property his own, especially that of the Turks.''

There is even at times in the Decameron a pleasure in flagrantly unchristian actions, as in the tale (viii.7) of the scholar's meticulous and sadistic revenge on the widow, where the symmetry between the initial offence and the revenge triumphs over all other considerations: there is very often a Kiplingesque delight in getting one's own back. Again, sheer cleverness is often seen as an admirable characteristic, particularly when it enables people to extricate themselves from tricky situations, as with the erring wife in Arezzo (vii.4) who manages so unerringly to put her innocent husband in the wrong. And although friars are attacked fiercely for their failure to live up to Christian standards, this does not prevent our taking pleasure in the glorious lying eloquence of Brother Cipolla (vi.10), who could give Chaucer's Pardoner a run for his money. Both of them are adept at openly mocking their audiences in the very instant of deceiving them. Perhaps this glorification of smart-aleckry ought not to be so surprising: most of us have been familiar from a very early age with folk tales such as that of Puss-in-Boots, the arch confidence trickster; but it does shock when it comes in stories of such evident moral sophistication, in a collection where many of the tales exalt Christian values of honesty, trustworthiness, and kindness. Oscar Wilde's Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest said of the novel she had written: ''The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.'' She had clearly not read the Decameron.

The desire to put one over on others is closely connected with an emphasis on worldly honour, most obviously in the great concern for reputation. This can be taken to extraordinary lengths, as when a man is prepared to commit murder (x.3) in order to take over his victim's reputation as the most hospitable of men!

We are not dealing here merely with the expected cultural differences between a fourteenth-century Florentine and ourselves: indeed the popularity of the Decameron over so many hundreds of years testifies rather to what we have in common with Boccaccio, which is basically our humanity. To try to extract a set of generally applicable abstract principles of morality from these tales is a waste of time. The moral attitude varies with the storyteller and the story, and the net result is a whole world of conflicting, and frequently unresolved, reactions and attitudes ߝ in short, the world we live in.