Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How I found the Decameron

I have been reading a very interesting book this week. It's called The Lady Queen, and it's about Queen Joanna of Naples. Set in the 12th century Italy, this non-fiction book was written by one of my favourite authors - Nancy Goldstone. The sources for Joanna's life were listed as Petrarch and Boccaccio.

So I decided to read up on these sources and that's when I discovered that Giovanni Boccaccio was also the author of The Decameron.

I had always thought that the Decameron was a book of religious stories similar to Dante's Divine Comedy. I tend to stay away from any and all religion. I assumed that the Decameron would have lots of mentions of Jesus, the catholic church, heaven and hell in it. Based on these assumptions I stayed away from the Decameron as I stayed away from the Divine Comedy.

This week I discovered that The Decameron was not about religion at all. Instead it was a collection of rather bawdy and racy stories, totally fictional, but describing humanity during one of the darkest periods of man's history.

Recently a fellow blogger who runs an online antiquarian bookstore, released her first catalogue. The subject of this catalogue was Dante and the Divine Comedy.

I have felt the need to create my own collection of items and books, just like her catalogue, except that 1 - my collection will be on the Decameron (and not the Divine Comedy) and 2 - my collection will be online (in this blog), and will not be of a physical nature.

While I have not accumulated any books about or relating to the Decameron at this point in time, I do want to learn more about this classic book. I have also found that for me, the best way to learn something is to BLOG about it.

So welcome to my blog about the Decameron.

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