The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
FRIDAY FAVE~THE DECAMERON
Guys. This book is such an intellectual flex, you will legitimately feel intensely intellectual and clever when merely holding it. In reality it’s the 14th century Italian equivalent to a gossip column and honestly it’s BRILLIANT.
The thing I love the most about Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron is that it’s so easy to pick up and put down – hence my battered copy, sorry Gio, because of the structure (explained below), making this a very fancy classic that is actually readable.
Picture the scene: it’s 1348 and the world is experiencing a terrifying plague (gosh can’t relate, wonder what that’s like 👀). You are a hip, young, noble person and decide to bounce all the, you know death and destruction, and isolate with a group of 9 mates in a villa outside Florence.
As the internet, tv, radio and cheap printing hasn’t arrived on the scene you are just hanging out, swapping stories. Each person tells one short story a day, each day has a theme until 100 stories have been shared, ranging from love, lust, tragedy, wit, religion, family, fate and humanity to name a few. Let the debauchery commence!
See, it’s basically people magazine. What you get is a fascinating snapshot of life many hundreds of years ago and for me the most striking element is the inherent similarities between a time so different to now. People will always have the same hopes and dreams, the same vices, prejudices and weaknesses, even though our daily lives are so far removed from theirs.
But WAIT, there’s more. Only little ol’ @netflixhave commissioned a series based on this classic, with a dystopian survivalist twist. Boccaccio is still trending nearly a thousand years later #viral. Get in there before many more readers do and definitely give this one a try. At the very least you will get some VERY impressed people on the train next to you ~ Chaya