ONLINE SEMINAR
Boccaccio’s Decameron (Part 2)

$300.00

As the Black Death decimates 14th-century Italy, Boccaccio takes the tellers of his frame story in The Decameron to the idyllic countryside. Over ten days, they tell 100 tales — stories not of fear, contrition or blame, but rather tales that celebrate the humanness of desire in hopes of capturing something of the magic of ourselves. Written in the early days of the trend toward more widespread literacy that characterized the coming Renaissance, these are some of Europe’s first stories written in a local language for the entertainment of ordinary people.

When: Five weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern, starting February 28, 2023

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$300 plus 13% HST (approx. US$215 plus 13% HST)

How: We meet on Zoom; you will receive joining instructions approx. 3 weeks before the seminar start date.

Online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Discount codes must be used at the time of purchase.

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LEADERS

Experienced leaders who’ve conducted online and in-person seminars on Chaucer, Rabelais, and more, Denise Ahlquist and JJ Patton eagerly anticipate exploring these timeless tales with contemporary readers. Denise’s interest in the enduring power of narrative and years of Shared Inquiry discussions with the Great Books Foundation are complemented by JJ’s wry sense of humor and studies of medieval and Renaissance literature.

BOOK

The Decameron By Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by G. H. McWilliam
(Penguin Classics, 2003)
ISBN-13: 978-0140449303

To facilitate text references during the seminar, please obtain this edition.

We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers, especially as alternatives to Amazon.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org, World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson. Toronto-based Ben McNally Books also takes orders by phone or email and ships across Canada.
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What is the power of a good story? Of a witty remark? Does it matter who tells a tale? How do stories heal what needs healing? Which are the stories with the power to keep us going in times of crisis and adversity?

As the Black Death decimates 14th-century Italy, Boccaccio takes the tellers of his frame story in The Decameron to the idyllic countryside. Over ten days, they tell 100 tales — stories not of fear, contrition or blame, but rather tales that celebrate the humanness of desire in hopes of capturing something of the magic of ourselves. Written in the early days of the trend toward more widespread literacy that characterized the coming Renaissance, these are some of Europe’s first stories written in a local language for the entertainment of ordinary people.

Over five weeks, this seminar will focus on the tales of The Decameron as told on Days 6 to 10 of the frame story. The course is read-as-you-go, and the stories of Part 2 are independent of those in Part 1; with the summaries we provide, you can easily join in whether you participated in Part 1 or not.

There’s so much still to talk about — resourceful women hold their own, while nobles and merchants alike are caught in compromising situations. Is virtue rewarded any more often than vice? Has the author instructed as well as entertained us? What is the impact of a tale well told? What led one critic to describe “… the tone of the Decameron [as] skeptical, affable, and all but dangerously open-minded?”

Come delight in this brilliant compendium of the ingenuity and trickery of the human spirit!

“To have compassion for those who suffer is a human quality which everyone should possess, especially those who have required comfort themselves in the past and have managed to find it in others.”
― Giovanni Boccaccio, quote from The Decameron

 

Online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Discount codes must be used at the time of purchase.

All seminars are subject to a minimum enrollment of 7 participants. See full terms and conditions for Classical Pursuits online seminars. By registering for a seminar, you agree to abide by our code of conduct.

Classical Pursuits will record this seminar, and make each session privately available to registered participants for up to two weeks after that session.

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Additional information

Discount

Concert ticket, Not eligible for discount, Five times, With friend, Gift registration