What’s in a Title: The Long-debated Question on the Title of Sacchetti’s Novelle

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Michelangelo Zaccarello


Franco Sacchetti (1332–1400) may be considered Boccaccio’s most important follower in the ‘golden century’ of the Italian literary language, and his Novelle rank among the undisputed classics of early Italian literature. However, with no extant autograph witness, their text must be reconstructed from manuscripts copied almost two centuries after (second half of the sixteenth century). Thus, the authorial form of the collection title has been long disputed, but often with little attention paid to period documentation. This essay attempts to outline the main issues of the discussion, which has been recently reopened with new arguments, and to reassess it in the light of the work’s reception history as well as authorial intention.


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