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The Decameron: A Critical Lexicon (Lessico Critico Decameroniano)

When originally published in 1995, the volume represented a major, new departure from the “normal” sort of scholarship on Boccaccio’s masterpiece, and its unique approach and contents are still valid and valuable today. The seventeen original essays in the volume focus on providing a comprehensive view of the Decameron through the analysis of particular aspects, particular problem areas in the reading and interpretation of the work. Each essay offers a critical window on a defined topic (indicated by the headwords), and, when taken together, these individual essays intersect with, supplement, and reinforce one another, thus emphasizing the harmonious nature of the work as a whole and the importance of examining it through a variety of lenses. The newness of the volume also consists in its introduction of innovative exegetical approaches and the identification of previously unidentified sources and influences. While not providing an orderly reading of the Decameron as a more traditional series of day-by-day lecturae would do, the essays examine multiple novelle from various Days and from differing perspectives so as to provide an assemblage of comprehensive views on the text. For the English-language edition two new items have been added: an update to Vittore Branca’s essay on the history of the text of the Decameron and a bibliographical overview of North-American studies on the Decameron and, more generally, on Boccaccio’s life, works and influence.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition
—by Christopher Kleinhenz

Foreword
—by Pier Massimo Forni and Renzo Bragantini

1. Architecture
—by Franco Fido

2. Author / Narrators 
—by Michelangelo Picone

3. Action  
—by Eduardo Saccone

4. Communication 
—by Francesco Bruni

5. Dialogue
—by Renzo Bragantini

6. Philogyny / Misogyny
—by Claude Cazalé Bérard

7. Sources
—by Costanzo Di Girolamo and Charmaine Lee

8. Irony / Parody
—by Carlo Delcorno

9. Language
—by Alfredo Stussi

10. Memory
—by Giuseppe Velli

11. Morals
—by Victoria Kirkham

12. Representation
—by Giancarlo Mazzacurati

13. Reality / Truth
—by Pier Massimo Forni

14. Rhetoric
—by Andrea Battistini

15. Laughter
—by Giulio Savelli

16. The Sacred
—by Paolo Valesio

17. On the History of the Text of the Decameron
—by Vittore Branca
With an Update on the History of the Text
—by Renzo Bragantini

18. Boccaccio and the Decameron in North-American Criticism
—by Christopher Kleinhenz

Works Cited

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