Through a close scrutiny of Boccaccio's
Decameron and the works of his epigones, this book presents a synthesis of the medieval and Renaissance novella and proposes a model against which subsequent works of short fiction can be tested. This analysis furthermore establishes that, with the
Decameron, Boccaccio created a new genre in short narrative. It shows that throughout his work, he suggests the literary tenets of a narrative archetype and conceptualizes it in such a functional format that it could be used and imitated for centuries by his numerous followers.