Transmission and Transformation of the Fabliaux to the Decameron
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.
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