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Boccaccio's FabliauxMedieval Short Stories and the Function of Reversal$
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Katherine A. Brown

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049175

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049175.001.0001

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Boccaccio’s Fabliaux

Boccaccio’s Fabliaux

Transmission and Transformation of the Fabliaux to the Decameron

(p.125) 4 Boccaccio’s Fabliaux
Boccaccio's Fabliaux

Katherine A. Brown

University Press of Florida

Chapter 4 consists of close readings of fabliaux and novellas in the Decameron. These show how Boccaccio's manipulation of fabliaux and other narratives result in the creation of a new genre. The first texts, La Nonete and novella IX:2, show that Boccaccio used reversal both within individual narratives as well as among different narratives--novella IV:1 is a gendered reversal of novella IX:2--in order to underscore the openness of interpretation. The second example shows that novella III:10, through reversals, combines opposites genres: fabliaux and hagiographic texts. This combination of diverse genres reveals their inherent analogies. The final example shows that Boccaccio used one fabliau, Le Vilain de Bailleul, in two different novellas, III:8 and IX:3, revealing that stories can be endlessly adapted as well as interpreted.

Keywords:   Alibech, Decameron III:10, Boccaccio, Decameron, fabliau, Ferondo, Decameron III:8, genres, La Nonete, literary technique, reversal

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