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.
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.
Elegant and engaging, these pastoral poems address the great issues of Boccaccio’s Italy, including the political and military intrigues of the day. Boccaccio modeled his poems on Petrarch’s eclogues and, before him, those of Virgil and Theocritus. Slavitt’s impeccable translations are highly readable, while his editorial interjections both elucidate the poet’s intended meaning and frame the poems for the reader.
These charming works offer wonderful insight into daily life in Renaissance Italy. A prolific and award-winning translator, Slavitt turns the Eclogues into vibrant modern English, capturing not only the words of Boccaccio but the flavor of the original language.
The availability of The Latin Eclogues in English is a major contribution to the study of the literature and history of the Italian Renaissance.