"The Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio

After my IGTV video where I read excerpts from the “Decameron” in order to point out some of the similarities between the social ramifications of the current coronavirus pandemic and the Black Death, many of you have written me asking about the book. Don’t be fooled by the bone-chilling description of the Black Death. This mid-14th-century collection of bawdy novellas is an eyebrow-raising reflection of its contemporary society. Debaucherous priests and nuns, cuckolded husbands and unfaithful wives, treachery and deceit, slapstick comedy and political incorrectness – what more can you ask for from a book? And although Boccaccio’s unabashed realism was antithetical to the lofty poetry of Dante, they shared a common language – the vernacular.

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