Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Decameron Mini-Lecture


  1. This is amazing. Thanks for posting this. I always thought the Decameron was one of the few medieval texts not worth reading, but you've changed my mind.

  2. Oh, no, READ IT! There are three texts I teach that students invariably fall in love with: The poetry of Catullus, The Pillowbook of Sei Shonagon, and The Decameron. When I didn't assign The Decameron in Medieval Lit this semester several students complained!

    It has 100 short stories, and it's a mixed bag. Most are good, some are literary classics, and a few are boring stinkers (for example, I hate Day 6, and will generally skip it when I'm re-reading the Decameron for pleasure). Most of the stories are only a few pages long, so if you're reading for pleasure and you get to a story you don't care for, just skip it and go on to the next one.

    My favorite way to read The Decameron is one bit at a time, stretched out over weeks when I've just got 5-10 minutes to kill. That way I can savor the stories.