Italian Language & Culture, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University
There is nothing coincidental about the role of objects in literature. Authors select them for a reason. The objects in the literary work of this zone are no exception: we will look at Giovanni Boccaccio’s famous Decameron (1353). Backdrop of Il Decameron is the impact and the aftermath of the Black Death, the global pandemic of the fourteenth century.
During the pandemic of our time, students of the BA course La Tradizione Novellistica at Leiden University gathered online to study the Decameron by focusing on the role of things. What roles do a feather, coals, a cup, rings etc. play in Boccaccio's carefully crafted storylines? The results are refreshing and insightful, providing us with yet another way to enjoy the Decameron. Go to Boccaccio’s statue for a short intro to the writer and his work, or head straight to the novellas. The objects that await you here, are things that talk.