Boccaccio, The Decameron
It's crazy to me that before you open a book, it has no power over your life. It does not exist. A book doesn't matter at all in your life until you read it, and then it becomes such a large part of you. You claim such ownership over a book when you've read it. I almost didn't open Boccaccio. The book looked so big next to my other books, and I'm tired of reading stories. I imagined it like a slog of little stories that I was going to have to endure. I'm acting like I already read it. I'm half a page in.
Boccaccio is a human comedy, and I think it's what I need right now. I've lived in such holiness for so long now that I need to take a break. Think about human things. Hopefully, it will act as a refresh on my brain. I want to hear a story about love and fun.
Obviously, the elephant in the room is I’m reading this book in May of 2020, so plague conditions are on the mind. No, I didn’t read this book because Margaret Atwood suggested it in the NYTimes. That lady disturbs me for some reason. I’m not going to act like I wasn’t shocked when all 10 main characters were still going to church during the plague, and decided that quarantining all together was a good idea. That’s too many people. They only stay at their country resort for 10 days, so it's kind of like a short vacation. Life imitates art. I’m reading this book while quarantining. I’m spending most of my time sitting around the garden, going around in circles telling stories.
Note: I wrote in my notes for this book that The Decameron was hugely connected to Jane Austen. I have no idea why that could be. If anyone is reading this and can think of the connection, I would be glad to know.