Literature Talk: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

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Event Details

This is an in-person event. Masks may be required and social distancing protocol will be followed.

Join USD Professor Brittany Asaro for a stimulating discussion of The Decameron written in 1348 by Giovanni Boccaccio and set in Florence, Italy during the Black Death (1346-1353) which killed 75 to 200 million in Europe and Asia.  In the book, ten young Florentines retreat into self-isolation for two weeks in the countryside and pass the time by telling stories, resulting in 100 stories. Many of the stories are amusing. Some are sad. None are about the plague.

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What does a 700-year-old book set during the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history have to say about the Covid-19 pandemic and the social upheavals it has brought about? Why does The Decameron resonate so powerfully during our own current moment in time?

Click HERE to also attend the Book Launch of the San Diego Decameron Project Anthology on March 21.

Brittany Asaro is Professor of Italian at the University of San Diego and a scholar of The Decameron. She specializes in theories of love as well as representations of women in Early Modern Italian literature. She is an affiliate of the UCLA CMRS Center for Early Global Studies and serves on the executive board of the Renaissance Conference of Southern California. She’s an enthusiastic supporter of San Diego Public Library and serves on the board of the Friends of the Mission Valley Branch Library. Dr. Asaro has always long been fascinated by The Decameron and connects personally with its themes on the healing power of humor, spending time outdoors, being among friends, and storytelling.


Literature Talk is is an occasional library series of presentations and discussions designed as a fun opportunity for serious book lovers to exchange views with fellow readers and college professors who know or teach the books in their classes.


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