Boccaccio’s "Decameron"

Boccaccio's "Decameron"

Rewriting the Christian Middle Ages and the Lyric Tradition

by Dino S. Cervigni

554 pages, 6" x 9"

  • Paperback
  • 9780866986069
  • Published: January 2021



This study develops a new interpretation of The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio’s masterpiece, which has found new popularity in the wake of COVID. Dino S. Cervigni offers an inclusive and novel reading of the collection, theorizing that the first ninety tales offer a parodic rewriting of the Christian Middle Age, while the last ten tales craft a reconstruction of society based on human and liberal principles such as generosity and sacrifice. 

Still relevant to this day, The Decameron offers a notable description of the bubonic plague of 1348 which devastated Western Europe—drawing striking parallels with the current global pandemic. Furthermore, Boccaccio’s concluding message applies to all of us in the present moment, plunged as we are into a world of intellectual and ethical chaos, exhorting us to practice forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, mutual acceptance, and generous open-mindedness. No other book on The Decameron offers such a relevant, up-to-date reading of the classic work.