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Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian author and poet. He began writing in Naples. That is where he fell in love with the Fiammetta that he made famous in his work. Most of his Il Filostrato, which treats Troilus and Cressida’s love, has been translated by Chaucer.

In 1358 he completed his great work, Decameron. Bocaccio, along with Petrarch, who was his friend, were important Renaissance humanists. Boccaccio is particularly notable for his dialogue, of which it has been said that it surpasses in verisimilitude all of his contemporaries.

Boccaccio’s originality lies in his treatment of human characters who struggle with their lots in life and learn to overcome it. The noble person must accept life as it is, without bitterness, and must accept the consequences of his own action, however contrary to his expectation or even tragic they may be. Boccaccio treats humans humanly, that is, he recognizes both the human power and its limits, without reference to the possible intervention of divine grace.

Bocaccio died in 1375 from a heart condition.

Random Quote/Passage:

 "Rustico, che di radici d’erba e d’acqua vivea, poteva male rispondere alle poste; e dissele che troppi diavoli vorrebbono essere a potere il ninferno attutare, ma che egli ne farebbe ciò che per lui si potesse; e così alcuna volta le sodisfaceva, ma sì era di rado, che altro non era che gittare una fava in bocca al leone; di che la giovane, non parendole tanto servire a Dio quanto voleva, mormorava anzi che no."
"Rustico, whose diet was roots of herbs and water, wasn't up to the task in responding to her demands: he told her that it would require not a few devils to allay the heat of hell; but that he would do what might be in his power; and so now and again he satisfied her; but so seldom that it was as if he had tossed a bean into the jaws of a lion. Whereat the girl, being fain of more of the service of God than she had, did somewhat repine."
Decameron - Terza Giornata (Decameron 3rd Day) - Giovanni Boccaccio

Available Titles in Italian - English Bilingual Edition (Project Bilingual)

Decameron - Prima Giornata (Decameron 1st Day)

Decameron - Seconda Giornata (Decameron 2nd Day)

Decameron - Terza Giornata (Decameron 3rd Day)

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