The Writer as Liar : Narrative Technique in the Decameron book cover
1st Edition

The Writer as Liar
Narrative Technique in the Decameron

ISBN 9780367207380
Published December 31, 2020 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Originally published in 1975, The Writer as Liar examines the literary game of falsehood as it is portrayed in the Decameron. The book examines how Boccaccio’s collection of tales has a ‘frame’ story, its own built-in key to the art of story-telling, its internal logic of truth and falsehood, as well as its moments of self-parody, pure narrative intrigue and sophisticated sexual symbolism. The book formulates the argument that Boccaccio’s story telling is seen as an artfully malicious operation, depending for its success not on some abstract concept of narrative originality or the accurate depiction of human psychology, but on the combinative assemblage of narrative blocks, which are manipulated by a craftsman who must lie and cheat with raw material in order to produce a living work – therefore depicting the artist as a liar.

Table of Contents


1. Narrative Screens

2. Literature and Falsehood

3. Bawdry and Ars Combinatoria

4. The Meaning of a Storm

5. Passion and Metaphor

Bibliographical Conventions


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