Boccaccio’s Fabliaux: Medieval Short Stories and the Function of Reversal

by Katherine A. Brown

Tricky tales of the Middle Ages are the focus of Boccaccio’s Fabliaux. Katherine Brown, a specialist of medieval French and Italian literature, shows how the Fabliaux—comic tales told by wandering minstrels in medieval France—inspired the Italian writer Boccaccio to write the 100 stories in his classic Decameron. Boccaccio picked up on the intriguing design of the Fabliaux, where a passage of truth could be read as a lie or a tale of life as a tale of death. If you’re new to medieval literature, you’ll be intrigued and impressed by the twists and turns of clever medieval storytelling.

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