A masterpiece of world literature, most likely written between 1349 and 1351, The Decameron alternates between tragedy and comedy in its sweeping view of life. Comprising 100 tales told by ten young people who have retreated to the countryside to escape the plague raging through fourteenth-century Florence, the work is a perfect example of classic Italian prose.
This volume contains a carefully chosen selection of 20 of its best-known tales, including those that inspired later works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Gotthold Lessing, Keats, and other writers. Spiced with humor, rich dialogue, and colorful characters, the stories range from earthy satires to morality tales, from accounts of adulterous love and passion to suspenseful narratives of murder and revenge. Among them are such favorites as "The Pot of Basil," "Patient Griselda," the bawdy "Putting the Devil Back in Hell," "A Wager over Virtue," "The Stone of Invisibility," and "The Wild Hunt."
For this dual-language edition, Stanley Appelbaum has provided an informative, thoughtful introduction and excellent new English translations on pages facing the Italian original. Sure to delight students of Italian language and literature, the volume will appeal as well to readers interested in classic medieval stories.
About the Author
Stanley Appelbaum served for decades as Dover's Editor in Chief until his retirement in 1996. He continues to work as a selector, compiler, editor, and translator of literature in a remarkable range of languages that includes Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Russian.
Table of ContentsForeword
"La confessione di ser Ciappelletto / Master Ciappelletto's Confession [I, 1]"
"I tre anelli / The Three Rings [I, 3]"
"Le disgrazie d'Andreuccio / Andreuccio's Mishaps [II, 5]"
"Una scommessa sulla virtù / A Wager Over Virtue [II, 9]"
"Giletta di Narbona / Gillette of Narbonne [III, 9]"
"Rimettere il diavolo in inferno / Putting the Devil Back in Hell [III, 10]"
"Il vaso di basilico / The Pot of Basil [IV, 5]"
"Il cuore di Guglielmo Guardastagno / The Heart of Guilhem of Cabestany [IV, 9]"
"La caccia infernale / The Wild Hunt [V, 8]"
"Federigo e il suo falcone / Federigo and His Falcon [V, 9]"
"Il fanciullo amato / The Beloved Boy [V, 10]"
"La gru con una sola gamba / The One-Legged Crane [VI, 4]"
"La penna dell'arcangelo Gabriele / Archangel Gabriel's Feather [VI,10]"
"Lo spaghetto / The String [VII, 8]"
"L'elitropia / The Stone of Invisibility [VIII, 3]"
"La gravidanza di Calandrino / Calandrino's Pregnancy [IX, 3]"
"Il masnadiere e l'abate / The Highwayman and the Abbot [X, 2]"
"Una gara di liberalità / A Contest of Generosity [X, 3]"
"Saladino mercante / Saladin as a Merchant [X, 9]"
"La pazienza di Griselda / Patient Griselda [X, 10]"