A journey through Boccaccio's Decameron

Course Dates: 06/07/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
The Decameron is one of the early literary works in the Italian language and it had a significant influence on many other writers. Come and discover the genesis of the novel and some of the stories that still resonate with readers today.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

A journey through Boccaccio's Decameron
  • Course Code: HLT140
  • Dates: 06/07/24 - 06/07/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Francesco Bucciol

Course Code: HLT140

Sat, day, 06 Jul - 06 Jul '24

Duration: 1 session

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What is the course about?

In the 14th century, Boccaccio created a ground-breaking work of literature about Medieval themes seen through his own impressions of real life characters. The Decameron is his most famous work. Come and enjoy his entertaining and worldly tales. Comic and tragic, bawdy and satiric in turns, Boccaccio was criticised in his own time for writing on topics that were considered immoral at the time.

Drawing from the Medieval world, The Decameron goes beyond Boccaccio’s time and we witness ordinary men dealing with their own destiny and trying to overcome it. Stylistically, his work not only represented the best of classical Italian prose but went on to influence Renaissance literature in the whole of Europe.

What will we cover?

After an introduction on Italy in the 13th and 14th century, we will look at Boccaccio’s life and works. We will then introduce the Decameron – its origins, structure and themes – followed by the reading and commenting of some key stories. We will also look at a scene from the movie version of the “Decameron” directed by Pierpaolo Pasolini.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

. By the end of the course you should be able to:
- describe the audience Boccaccio wrote for
- name some key themes in The Decameron
- give an example of how and why Boccaccio went beyond morality.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and does not require any knowledge of Italian or previous readings about the texts.
However, a good grasp of English is necessary to make the most of the session and to fully appreciate the themes.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The session will be a mixture of tutor-led lecture combined with group discussion, readings and opportunities to ask questions. Some group or pair activities will be included. A further reading list will be provided at the end.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Extracts from the books will be provided by the tutor - the reference edition will be Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, translated by G.H. McWilliam (Penguin Classics, 2003). Bring writing material if you wish to take notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for Literary History courses under Literature under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk for more information.

Francesco Bucciol

Francesco has taught Italian language classes and literature at City Lit since 2014. He also works as Head of the Classics Department. After graduating with honours in Modern Languages and Literatures (English, German and Serbo-Croat), he moved to London and started teaching Italian at various adult education colleges, which gave him the opportunity to share his interest in Italian language, culture and traditions to a diverse range of students. During this time, he also acquired experience in curriculum management. Francesco currently prepares students for Italian exams. His passion includes philology, Dante, early Italian literature and the history of Italy (primarily the Northeast, where he grew up and was educated).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.