Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Boccaccio, Giovanni

(1313-1375) Italian writer, a central figure in the development of vernacular Western literature and in the evolution of Story out of exemplary Fable and Fairytale. The Decameron (coll circa 1350), a central Taproot Text, may be the first Story Cycle in the West whose contents are selfconsciously designed as literary entities, and the first since Roman times to be designedly secular in its impact. A Club-Story-like structure works to free individual tales from the straitjacket of having to teach something "worthwhile". GB – as did Chaucer a little later – opened the door for the free story; it has not been shut again. [JC]

Giovanni Boccaccio


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.