Adventures in Speech: Rhetoric and Narration in Boccaccio's 'Decameron'

By Usher, Jonathan | Medium Aevum, January 1, 1997 | Go to article overview

Adventures in Speech: Rhetoric and Narration in Boccaccio's 'Decameron'


Usher, Jonathan, Medium Aevum


Pier Massimo Forni's Forme complesse nel Decameron (Florence: Olschki, 1992) examined the way in which, in long works, the creative process itself acts as an `intelligent system', defining the options open to the author and creating inherent order by organic rather than logical processes. The present book is in many ways an academic by-product of similar processes, with intuitions generating new intuitions, and topics presenting themselves by 'suggestion'.

Central to Forni's study is the idea that rhetoric need not be a discipline external to the moment of creation. Rather than subsequent embellishment, the rhetorical mode can itself, in such a model, inspire artistic production. Reversing the polarity of rhetoric and invention, a splendid intuition, provides a rich source of material for investigation, but does so at the cost of Forni's own rhetorical organization, which at times seems a mite haphazard. Examples and arguments jostle for position, and inventio could have benefited from more rigorous dispositio.

One of the most interesting discoveries concerns the bri ata: the rhetoric of the frame narrators as they introduce stories is tied in to the construction of the stories themselves: there is a surprising, and convincing, correlation between apparently casual (and often unnoticed) verbal gambits in the introductory remarks and essential details in the ensuing stories. The frame characters are much more 'involved' artistically than hitherto supposed, and it is to Forni's credit that he has exposed this coyly concealed dimension to the text. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Adventures in Speech: Rhetoric and Narration in Boccaccio's 'Decameron'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.