Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Giovanni Boccaccio: Theseid of the Nuptials of Emilia (Teseida Delle Nozze De Emilia)

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Giovanni Boccaccio: Theseid of the Nuptials of Emilia (Teseida Delle Nozze De Emilia)

Article excerpt

Giovanni Boccaccio: Theseid oj the Nuptials oj Hmil/a (Teseida delle nozze de Emilia), trans. Vincenzo Traversa, Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures 116 (New York: Peter Lang, 2002). 608 pp. ISBN 0-8204-61067. Sw. Fr. 129.00.

This solid, literal translation of Boccaccio's Teseida fills a gap in the accessibility of Boccaccio's early works to the English reader, and will be welcomed by students of Italian literature and of Chaucer alike. However, the English reader may be puzzled by Traversa's choosing to use an unedited transcription of a previously unpublished late-fifteenth-century manuscript of the poem for his text, rather than the text either of the extant autograph manuscript (Laurcnziana, Cod. Acquisti e Doni 325) or of Limentani's excellent modern edition based on it. While there might be some validity in offering up this manuscript (owned by Traversa) 'to the interest of the public', the student who requires a translation of the poem would gain little from this transcription.

The Italian text is presented without punctuation, and with its original inconsistent separation of words. While scattered alternative readings appear in brackets, Traversa does not explain whether these are textual variants (and, if so, where they come from), or whether these are editorial attempts to clarify the text for the reader. Hc helps us with, for example, 'lofa (Ii fa)', but not with 'chogliochi', and offers the variant 'speso donarmi (d'ornarmi)' without offering Limentani's 'spun d'ornarmi'. …

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