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Boccaccio's Fabliaux – Medieval Short Stories and the Function of Reversal - Florida Scholarship Online
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Boccaccio's Fabliaux: Medieval Short Stories and the Function of Reversal

Katherine A. Brown


The Old French fabliaux are humorous short stories from the 13th century that resemble some of the most memorable tales in Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (1348-1351). Yet their humor and ostensible frivolity conceal a serious challenge to didactic literature. A century later, Boccaccio used these types of tales to promote the openness of literary interpretation as a choice for the reader. This study shows that the fabliaux had a greater influence on the Decameron than has previously been recognized. Boccaccio took from the fabliaux the use of reversal as a technique for manipulating narrative ... More

Keywords: Boccaccio, chiasmus, Decameron, fabliau, genre, intertextuality, manuscript study, reading practices, reversal as technique, story collections

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780813049175
Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049175.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Katherine A. Brown, author