August 07, 2004

Good Reads

Angels & Demons (Dan Brown, 2000): Hmmm... still on the first chapter. But nonetheless, it's as good and fast-paced as the The Da Vinci Code.

The Decameron (Giovanni Boccaccio, 14th Century): To think that Medieval Literature is boring, this should dispell any notions. Thanks to King Arthur, Chaucer, Thomas More, St. Augustine, etc., we tend to think of Medieval lore as painstakingly boring and full of old English yarn. We conjure ideas of princesses with pointed hats being rescued from dark castles by prince charming, or the Robin-hood like chivalry and cavalierism during those times. However, we must remember that the Black Death ravaged most of Europe during the Dark Ages. Not everyone is in the church praying and kneeling before the pews feeling pious. This classic shows the bawdy, humorous, satirical and farcical side of the Medieval Era. It's not about noble knights searching for the holy grail or battles fought for love (ala Romeo & Juliet) or philosophical monarchs going murderously mad (ala Hamlet & Macbeth), but rather it's the daily activities of the common people of Italy. I have to admit, most of the population then were poor. Most of the time they eat, feast, get laid, blackmail, cheat, murder and get drunk... just like today. You agree, GWBush? I can see you nodding your head Erap.

After seeing Pasolini's The Decameron, I simply have to check if the film was faithful to the original manuscript. Well, mostly yes.

The blurb from Dover Publications:
"While the Black Death rages through 14th-century Florence, a group of young people retreat to the countryside and amuse themselves by telling tales of romance and adventure. This is the premise of Boccaccio's Decameron... Vast in scope, teeming with colorful characters, and rich in worldly wisdom. Folk tales, ancient myths, fables and anecdotes range from earthly and irreverent satires of hypocritical clergy, to gripping tales of murder and revenge, to stories of passionate love, both adulterous and faithful."

Some of the stories from The Decameron:
Ninth day, Story II: An abbess rises in haste and in the dark, with intent to surprise an accused nun abed with her lover, thinking to put on her veil, she puts on instead the breeches of a priest that she has with her: the nun, espying her headgear, and doing her to with thereof, is acquitted, and thenceforth finds it easier to forgather with her lover.

Third day, Story I
: Masetto feigns to be dumb, and obtains a gardener's place at a convent of women, who with one accord make haste to lie with him.

First day, Story I: Ser Ciappelletto cheats a holy friar by false confession, and dies; and having lived a very sinful life, is, on his death, reputed a saint and called San Ciappelletto.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be your privilege?! You have a picture of a dead baby in your blog!!! (which by the way is totally better than mine. hmph! my blog doesn't have a facility to upload pictures)I'm not worthy ... I'm not worthy ... Feel free to link to me although you seem to have done so already.

Mental Patient

How is Angels and Demons? Just finished The Da Vinci Code