Read The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta by Giovanni Boccaccio Mariangela Causa-Steindler Thomas Mauch Online


A milestone in feminist literature, this marvelous European romance, narrated by a woman, is considered the first psychological novel in a modern language and a precursor of stream-of-consciousness fiction. Written by Giovanni Boccaccio between 1343 and 1345, The Elegy has never before been available in a complete or accurate English translation. Lady Fiammetta, the first-A milestone in feminist literature, this marvelous European romance, narrated by a woman, is considered the first psychological novel in a modern language and a precursor of stream-of-consciousness fiction. Written by Giovanni Boccaccio between 1343 and 1345, The Elegy has never before been available in a complete or accurate English translation. Lady Fiammetta, the first-person narrator and protagonist, recounts how, although a married woman, she falls in love with a handsome young foreigner named Panfilo and, driven by irresistible passion, becomes his lover. Panfilo subsequently abandons Fiammetta and returns to his native land, where his elderly father is said to be dying. When he fails to keep his promise to return, Fiammetta, in what is the heart of the narrative, describes her longings, her anguish, and her despair. A host of contradictory sentiments drive her to desperation and to an unsuccessful suicide attempt. After a time, Fiammetta resumes her futile wait for Panfilo. She finally resolves to seek him out in his native land. Disguising her true intent from her husband, she secures his promise to help her in this undertaking. Addressing an exclusively female audience, Fiammetta warns them about the vicious ways of men. Her whole narrative, in fact, adds up to an indictment of men as both readers and lovers. Eliciting a remarkably wide range of responses from readers and critics, Fiammetta has been variously described as a pathetic victim of male cruelty; an irresponsible fool of a girl; a sophisticated, cunning, and wholly disingenuous female; and, finally, a genuinely modern woman. Whatever judgment we make of her, Fiammetta stands out among medieval women as an ardent and outspoken feminist....

Title : The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta
Author :
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ISBN : 9780226062761
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 182 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta Reviews

  • Kalliope
    2018-12-06 18:48

    Love, however, often is not.But a literary gem, a gem remains. For this short novel seems to be the first psychological novel in a modern Western language that we have, and some like to think that the refined introspection and self-analysis that it expounds foreruns modernist writings. No matter what has been written afterwards, nor what will be written in the future, the pioneering quality stays with this Elegy.The story is simple and I am not spoiling it by saying that the book consists of the musings of a (married) woman who has been abandoned by her lover.Its preciosity and rare value is then purely literary. Its cut has a rich structure of narrators. Boccaccio the man, and author, speaks through the voice of a fictitious woman, Fiammetta, who extols the feminine. Or rather, I should say that Bocaccio writes through someone else’s writing, for Fiammetta posits herself as the author and addresses her pen from the very beginning. In her prologue we read: I shall go on with a tearful pen, and her last chapter begins with O dear little book of mine ... just as you have been written by my own hand...The shimmering facets of the narrator, however, take on additional planes when we suspect that it could well be Boccaccio who speaks through Fiammetta’s nurse, when this older woman offers the longing lady some pieces of advice grounded in good solid sense. The male author then would still have another entry even if it is in the guise of another female character.The role of the narrator also offers some glowing transparency. Who is it that writes the short summaries heading each one of the nine chapters – In which is demonstrated how many and what kinds of thoughts this lady engaged with while waiting for the time when her lover had promised to return. This undoing of Fiammetta’s claimed authorship by referring to her from outside the frame and in the third person breaks the opacity of the fictional illusion. An editor, or Boccaccio again?And so we wonder, to whom is this addressed? Fiammetta says so clearly: to women. And if she does so it is not just because her unhappy romantic experience could be seen as a moralistic warning for other gullible females, but also because the act of loving and the act of reading are equated in her mind. She, --or is it Boccaccio?-- is putting love and femininity at the core of literature, at the core of art.The ambiguous mix of Christian values with classical and pagan figures is what endows this jewel with a rich colour. It has all the tints from the Renaissance. We see Fiametta addressing, questioning, confronting, entities such as Fortune, Sleep, Love, Hope. She has also populated her world with numerous figures such as Deidameia, Jocasta, Alcmene, Cassandra, Evadne, Iole, etc... Figures which also populate the Glossary with which the editors of this edition have so kindly offered to us, the modern audience ignorant of mythology.The elaborate rhetoric through which we follow Fiammetta’s tortuous pining and amorous agonies invites us to wonder about its roots in Western literature of the feelings of love and its expression. It is in Fiammetta’s claim that the articulation of the sentiment of love through writing, and the necessary femininity of readership, that we find the purity of the Elegy. This work then fits in the traditions of courtly love and Troubadours with their poetic roots in Provence and Sicily. After all, Boccaccio grew in the sophisticated Neapolitan court. But the degree of introspection and focus on the soul rather than on actions or stories is what is considered Boccaccio’s own innovation. He was after all a writer extraordinarily experimental. And he sought to explore this quality in the quarry from which a major family of Western literary output was obtained – Love and its accidental and passionate life.Boccaccio’s brilliant will shine forever.------------Boccaccio (1313-1375) wrote this in 1343-45, soon after settling in Florence after having left Naples. Some critics see this work as a tour-de-force, and as an attempt to establish his name in this town. It precedes the Decameron, work in which he continued the predominance of the female as an audience and as narrator. A Fiammetta appears in more than one of his works. She may have been inspired in an unrequited love from his youth.She has inspired other artists, such as the other Dante - Gabriel Rossetti.

  • Louise Chambers
    2018-11-21 17:45

    Well, it may be the first "feminist" novel, but let us hope that this is not the last. It certainly is not radical; this coming from one who has read Cixous and American feminist authors. Willa Cather is more feminist than this. Oh well, at least he tried. It was a very long time ago when the men ruled the world.

  • Mona
    2018-11-30 16:55

    Olgu, nõustun, et teose kirjutamise ajal võis see kindlasti fenomenaalne olla, et peategelane on naine ning mõtestatakse lahti naise tundeelu. Aga praegu tundub see üsna 188 lk nuttu ja hala mingi armukese pärast, kes naise maha jättis, lisaks siis veel väga palju viiteid Vana-Kreeka mütoloogiatele, millest lõpus lihtsalt läksin diagonaalis üle, sest tõesti need kõik ei jää meelde, kui ühel lehel on ligi 5 joonealust märkust.Kui ehk oled armastuse lahkumise pärast 2 aastat voodis nutnud ja halanud ning haudunud erinevaid plaane, et kuidas saata teda hukatusse ja siis ikka täiega armastada või siis ikka ennast ära tappa või siis saata tema uus armastus põrgutulle, siis ehk oskad samastuda peategelasega. Ma ei osanud. Olgu, alati ei peagi, aga siis oleks võinud selle hala palju lühemas vormis kirja panna, sest sisuliselt selles teoses väga midagi ei juhtu peale nutmise.

  • Jere
    2018-11-12 15:07

    An interesting look into Boccaccio's time - a rendezvous of ancient gods and the christian God, balancing on the edge of medieval era and renaissance, but...The execution didn't quite deliver, in my opinion, it just felt really really dragging at times. There were glimpses of joy and hope, and a neverending presence of ill faithand sorrow...and a lot (I MEAN A LOT) of whining! If I wanted to spend time on reading about complaints and whining, I could as well just read some discussion on the social media.That said, the book isn't totally bad, some elements are really rewarding, and the ending is quite nice. But the most part just isn't worth the time.

  • Catherine Corman
    2018-11-30 19:06

    I made a mock of the folly of dreams and of those who believe in them, and so I rendered the work of the gods useless-Boccaccio, La Fiammetta

  • Lauri Dabbieri
    2018-11-10 17:08

    I love Boccaccio and this is a very easy translation to read!

  • Ro Capriles
    2018-12-10 11:41

    The Spanish translation was very difficult to read (it was a "baroque" translation). As the first "psychological" novel, it's very interesting.

  • Hajatelma
    2018-11-19 18:58

    Kirjalle itselleen kolme tähteä, viimeiselle luvulle yksin viisi.