Sunday, March 15, 2020

About The Decameron

The latest tranche of Dickon Edwards’s online diary brings us up to date with Covid-19 and mentions The Decameron, Boccaccio’s collection of tales purportedly told by a group of people holed up in a villa to avoid the plague in 14th-century Florence – a reminder that social distancing has a long and noble heritage.

I remember flicking through my mother’s Everyman edition, in which parts of the naughtiest tale – that of Alibech and monk Rustico – were left in the original language, which I always felt was a particularly half-arsed flavour of censorship, suggesting that we are all potentially corruptible, with the exception of those who have taken the trouble to learn medieval Italian.

No comments: