Thursday, April 16, 2020

Robert Harrison's online meetings about The Decameron

Cynthia Haven had posted on Robert Harrison's meetings on Boccacio's The Decameron, the book that seems to all be the rage given the situation now. Her posts can be found here and here. If, like me, you missed the meetings, you can listen to them at his Entitled Opinions website: For more from Harrison, check out Haven's post earlier this week that is an excerpt from his interview by Neue Zürcher Zeitung. An excerpt:
So Boccaccio was an incorrigible optimist because he shows how the worst person can make a story that inspires other contemporaries.

On the one hand, Boccaccio shows us how a bad cheater makes other people stronger in their belief–and on the other hand, he lifts the veil and lets us see how we indulge in fictions. But we need these fictions to outgrow ourselves in life. So for Boccaccio there are only stories that help us live better and stories that help us live worse. That is its form of radicalism.

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