Giovanni BoccaccioBoccaccio
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Critics consider Giovanni Boccaccio to be the father of that literary genre known as the novella. This brief narrative form, that met with so much good fortune in European literature, has with the Decameron its first literary formalisation. The work, for its thematic versatility and the variety of its sources, imposes itself as the sum of previous narrative experience and at the same time is immediately recognised as a model to be pursued, for those who allow themselves to be seduced by the temptation of writing novellas.

Biographical pathways bullet Biographical pathways

Of uncertain Tuscan origin, for long contended by Florence and Certaldo, to his youth in Naples, a period of literary and cultural formation, up until his return to Florence in 1340 Giovanni Boccaccio’s biographical experience gravitates between the poles of attraction of the court of Naples and the city of Florence, before retiring to the literary leisures of the borgo at Certaldo.

Textual pathways bullet Textual pathways

His attempts at Latin poetry at a tender age are soon followed by more varied experiments in the vernacular. He was particularly active in the use of the models that are courtly romance and allegorical poetry, before focusing his interest on brief narrative forms, that led to the definition of the genre known as the novella consecrated by the Decameron. A fascination with erudition acquires greater and greater importance in his encyclopaedic writings in Latin in maturity.

Thematic pathways bullet Thematic pathways

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio is certainly one of the classics of our tradition that is most studied not only by Italian critics but also internationally. The reasons for such continued interest can easily be shared. An undisputed point of reference for the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Boccaccio’s Centonovelle sets the foundations and fundamentally influences the western novella, acting as point of reference for medieval European literature.

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Biographical pathways - Textual pathways - Thematic pathways
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