Boccaccio: First Day, Stories 6, 7 & 8

So, if you’ve been keeping track, none of the erotica has gotten out my ya-yas, so while choking down a warm homemade sidecar and waiting for the Draino to work its magic in the tub (that’s right, it’s Friday night, bitches)…it’s back to Boccaccio, which I just leave open on the table for moments like this.

These three stories are admittedly similar to one another. In fact, the stories up to this point vary only by a matter of a few degrees. Essentially, the stories mostly deal with depravity followed by forced enlightenment, usually via shame, that leads to a life of goodness. But do these make good stories?

In the cases of the one about sex positions, or the first one, yeah, awesome stories. In one, we can laugh, in the other we’re completely surprised by the outcome of a bad man fooling everyone into thinking he’s good. So, here’s another few stories criticizing the depravity of the clergy and the wealthy. One after another. And I have to wonder why…I have two guesses:

1) to continue providing buffers for naughty stories.

2) for the punchlines.

The punchlines aren’t very good. And I’m not about to be convinced that this book is meant to be a collection of moral lessons. It’s entertainment.

Two things strike me about this last story thought.

1) Sentimentality:

…there came to Genoa a worthy minstrel…a man no whit like those of the present day, who…are rather to be styled asses, reared in the beastliness and depravity of the basest of mankind, than in the courts.

Fascinating. Firstly because sentimentality of other ages is always fascinating–what…

(some guy just rode past me on a tiny scooter and crashed…what the fuck…)

…what people of the mid-1300s viewed as a golden age is quite a lot what we view as the golden age as well. And yet, so long ago. But this is not so distant a place and time, indeed, less than a century on the same peninsula, as the place where double-entry bookkeeping was invented. Accountants. And the black plague. But accountants. People were waking up, and going to work as accountants in this world. And yet it was still a world ruled by a Church whose governance held sway over the most powerful men. These stories reek of Paul’s conversion to Christianity, of that eternal tale of personal apocalypse in which a man bows to the wrong god before turning to revere the right one.

2) Conversation. This is nothing to elaborate on, but the conversation of the narrators is quite a lot like any conversation you’ve had with your friends. One tells a story, and another says, “oh, that reminds me of a story” and tells something similar, sometimes a better story, sometimes worse. And then everyone laughs and it’s someone else’s turn.

Okay! So, now I’m bored again and have to find something else to do…back to drinking alone!

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