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Staf Irina

Transformations of the Framing of Decameron in France of the 15th century: Antoine Verard’s Livre des Cent nouvelles


Staf Irina (2018) "Transformations of the Framing of Decameron in France of the 15th century: Antoine Verard’s Livre des Cent nouvelles ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2018, vol. 56, pp. 72-85 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201856.72-85

Abstract

This article studies the chages that Decameron’s framing construction underwent in the fi rst edition of its French translation, which was made in ca. 1414 by Laurent de Premierfait (Livre des Cent nouvelles). The aim of the article is to analyse the comprehension of Decameron by the French culture of the late Middle Ages. Librarian and printer Antoine Vérard combines Boccaccio’s prologue with framing narration, replacing the structure based on the exchange of nouvelles between narrators with the fi gure of a savant author-philosopher, guarantor of veracity and “moral advantage” of the text. Presenting the French Decameron as a translation from Latin and accompanying each novel by an explicit moral precept, the publisher rearranges it according to the same model of authoritative didactic narration which the “liseur” of King Charles VIII Guillaume Tardif will follow in his translation of Poggio’s Facetiae. Besides, addressing the women’s audience of Decameron is absent from Vérard’s Livre des Cent nouvelles, as well as the associated concept of poetic invention (fable), essential for Boccaccio and Laurent de Premierfait. In this regard, the poetics of the fi rst printed French Decameron is close to the poetics of its French analogue, the Burgundian Cent Nouvelles nouvelles. The comparative analysis of the texts is complemented by the study of the features of the presentation of the French translation in the printed book. The article demonstrates that Vérard’s processing of Decameron was meant to elevate the cultural status of the text and to emphasise the social and moral virtues of its creator. By replacing the cultural utopia of Boccaccio based on the dialogue of narrators with a monological and didactic structure, the publisher strives to incorporate the Livre des Cent nouvelles in the tradition of erudite humanistic translations belonging to the circle of “royal reading”.

Keywords

Boccaccio, Laurent de Premierfait, Antoine Vérard, Middle Ages, France, printed book, translation, novella, collection, fi ction, moralization

References

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Information about the author

Staf Irina


Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Philology;
Academic Rank: Senior Research Fellow;
Place of work: Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences; 25А Povarskaia Str., 121069, Moscow, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0003-3975-6617;
Email: irina.staf@gmail.com.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.