Beiträge zu Ehren von Emilio Bonfatti
Edited By Federica Masiero
MARIA GRAZIA SAIBENE Arigo’s Decameron: the Novella of Ghismunda 55
55 MARIA GRAZIA SAIBENE (Pavia) Arigo’s Decameron: the novella of Ghismunda 1. Introduction The novella of Ghismunda spread throughout Germany in the second half of the fifteenth century thanks to some translations. Leonardo Bruni’s Latin version of the novella was translated by Niclas von Wyle, who incorporated it in his Translationen,1 and was re-elaborated by Albrecht von Eyb in Ehebüchlein.2 The interest raised by this novella depends in particular on the themes of love and the social position of women. In comparison with the single versions of the novella, Arigo’s translation of Ghismunda, which is part of his Decameron,3 presents different features. First of all, he trans- lated from the original source, Decamerone; therefore, in comparison with the translators who used Bruni’s Latin version, Arigo had to solve more complex issues as regards to the language, style and syntax. Moreover, in Arigo’s Decameron, the original, narrative frame is maintained, and the novella of Ghismunda is linked with the introduction to the Day 4. There, Boccaccio defends himself from previously received criticism and provides a demonstration of the power of nature against reason, which is a central theme also throughout the novella of Ghismunda. As a result, if on the one hand we can hypothesize that such translations were intended mainly for noblemen – in particular for noblewomen – (cf. par. 2), on the other hand, the aims of the translators appear different. While the single versions of Ghismunda pursue moral and didactic intentions by giving examples of behaviour, the...
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