Friday, May 27, 2022

The Decameron

The DecameronThe Decameron 
by Giovanni Boccaccio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been on my TBR for a very long time and I am glad that I finally read it. Like most collections of stories some were better than others. Boccaccio anticipated this criticism. In his epilogue he says: "And the fact remains that anyone perusing these tales is free to ignore the ones that give offence, and read only those that are pleasing." This is excellent advice which people inclined to challenge libraries regarding the books on their shelves would do well to follow. Boccaccio continues: "For in order that none of you may be mislead, each of the stories bears on its brow the gist of that which it hides in its bosom." In other words, every story begins with a spoiler. I stopped reading these (they were set off in italics in my edition so I could easily skip them) about half-way through day 3. I have the G. H. McWilliam translation and it was very readable and entertaining. These hundred tales include tricks and favors, love and deceit, and a lot of sex. 

This book is on my Classics Club list as well as my TBR Pile Challenge list. With an original publication date in the mid-fourteenth century, it also counts toward the Back to the Classics Challenge as a "pre-1800 classic." 

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