The Governance of Friendship
Law and Gender in the Decameron
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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WiTh This book i repay a debt to the author who first inspired me to study italian literature. i begin therefore by thanking several galeotti who arranged trysts with the Decameron over the course of my education. elissa Weaver set my future course when she assigned the tale of madonna Oretta in my first-year italian course. in my struggles to understand the novella, i received generous assistance one night from margery Schneider, then a graduate student at the University of ...
i n troduct i o n
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This sTudy takes its title from two observations about the Decam-eron: first, that it traces its origins to a gesture of friendship, and second, that its initial focus on friendship opens onto a wide-ranging exploration of the relationship between friendship and governance, both in the household and in the state. boccaccio’s first mention of friendship seems almost incidental to the broader thrust of the Proem, subsumed as it is by the structuring metaphors of suffering and relief (hollander, “The ...
The Order ofOutsiders
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...in dedicaTinG the Decameron to women in love, boccaccio executes a seemingly innocuous first step in orienting his text toward women. That decision does not lack for ramifications, however, for just as the Decameron puts women and their experiences at its center, so too does it relegate men to its sidelines, only to represent them as angling to reassert their authority. They do so as critics of the author, as kings whose choices challenge the ladies in their company, or as characters in the stories who ...
Lessons inLegal Theory
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...in The previous chapter i undertook to show how boccaccio positions men at the outside at all three levels of his text—author’s statements, frame tale, and stories—and how those gestures of exclusion inspire three parallel revenge narratives. Central to my argument there was the observation that, by dedicating the book to women, boccaccio effectively turned his back on his (male) friends. This gesture in turn allowed him to describe a complementary scenario in which his choice fueled a polemic ...
Strategies of CoercionFilostrato
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The resToraTion of men of the brigata from the margins of leadership to the center, their acquisition of the monarch’s crown, occasions a change in the dynamic of the brigata and in the nature of the stories told. While the narrative shift comes most abruptly in the case of Filostrato, in fact all three kings posit themes that expand the range of narrative options applied to women. Filostrato’s theme provokes some of his subjects to ponder what would happen if a woman were caught in a ...
Dioneo and thePolitics of Marriage
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The reLaTive paucity of critical attention devoted to the seventh day of the Decameron finds compensation in the richness of the single contributions. To some degree we may attribute the lack of a sustained critical gaze to Cesare Segre, whose famous essay, “Funzioni, opposizioni e simmetrie nella giornata vii del Decameron,” had assumed the status of last word; as andrea battistini puts it, “Segre . . . non sembra avere lasciato molto di più di intentato” (187). as well, the day does not ...
The Rule of PanfiloFables of Reconciliation
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...in his essay “From controversia to novella” Paolo Cherchi describes the last day of the Decameron as “a protracted courtly controversy where the debate revolves around levels of courtliness rather than around opposite systems of values or contradictory laws” (129). Cherchi’s association of the tenth day with the controversia form turns out to be more apposite than he may have intended, for few days of the Decameron have provoked such widely divergent readings as this one has. On the one ...
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011