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and other information, we learn of rituals and of practices of Mexico Citys cryptoJews, of those in other Jewish sources (syncretic ones forged in seventeenth-century Catholic Spain, detailing inversions of Jewish or Catholic rituals), and of the cultural absorption of Christian stereotypes of Jews. This eclectic collection of autobiographies is not intended, nor should it be taken, as demonstrative of true accounts of lives sullied by the Inquisition. Rather the narratives show the understanding of the power of the word on the part of some of those called before the Holy Ofce. Stories were adjusted and adapted, tones were adopted as the prisoners grappled with confronting undened charges deriving from the testimony of unknown witnesses. By looking at such autobiographies (whose veracity cannot be determined) through a kind of parallax of history, one gains a slightly different view of a closely studied topic and is able to discern another piece to place in the mosaic of the story of the past. In addition, the editors of this volume have performed a useful service for anyone interested in the Inquisitions activities; most especially for those who would like to look into various episodes recorded in the les of the accused who appeared before inquisitorial tribunals in the Iberian Peninsula and in the New World in the early modern period. We hope that Richard Kagan and Abigail Dyer will continue to provide us with translations of additional trials so as to enhance the information available for research into the Inquisition and its history. They should be encouraged to persist in this endeavour with the same enthusiasm and diligence as they have shown in this book. Bar-Ilan University
secondary Reviews of books books review X XX Reviews of REVIEWS OF BOOKS

Moiss Orfali

Richard Kuhns, Decameron and the Philosophy of Storytelling: Author as Midwife and Pimp. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. xxiii + 177pp. $40.00. ISBN 0 231 13608 0. Simone Marchesi, Stratigrae decameroniane. Firenze: Olschki, 2004. xxii + 154. $19.00. ISBN 88 222 5403 1.
Boccaccios Decameron continues to command (and repay) considerable critical interest even in the seventh century of its reception, and these two recent studies make new and important contributions to the eld. Both studies are essentially concerned with Boccaccios place in literary culture: Richard Kuhns contextualizes the Decameron within the broader cultural milieu, while Simone Marchesi delves into the text and its intertexts in order to map Boccaccios allusive mechanisms. Kuhnss characterization of Boccaccio as pimp is derived from the subtitle to the text: il libro chiamato Decameron, cognominato Prencipe Galeotto (the book called Decameron, otherwise known as Prince Galehalt). In the romance tradition, Galeotto was the knight who acted as go-between for Lancelot and Guinevere in their illicit love affair, and Kuhns suggests that the subtitle should be read as Prince of Pimps, referring both to the book itself, as provider of explicitly sexual material, and to the author, who draws the reader into a sexual relationship with his book. The authorial pose of the author as pimp is shown to be a literary tradition that extends back through Ovid to the character of Socrates in Platos dialogues (who is also the midwife of the title).

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Boccaccios Decameron is situated in the wider comparative context of world narrative traditions. The introductory chapter is particularly useful in this regard, relating the Western literary tradition to mythic storytelling and the development of individual consciousness through narrative. Chapter 1 argues for the importance of visual culture as inspiration for Boccaccios storytelling methods, as evidenced by the presence of painters in the text, and Boccaccios co-option of painterly illusionistic techniques. Chapter 2 broadens the discussion beyond Boccaccios storyworld, considering the function of dreams and masking in storytelling, and re-presenting Boccaccios wellknown narrative personae as masked performative ritual. Chapter 3 considers the metamorphoses of the body within the Decameron, with original readings of IV, 1 and VIII, 7; storytelling is shown to metaphorize the sexual body, and likewise, sexual actions metaphorize storytelling. Chapter 4 concentrates on a detailed reading of VII, 9, concluding that by his inversion of narrational and religious traditions, Boccaccio reveals the latent content of his work, which is to scrutinize the nature of narrative (and religious) truth itself. Chapter 5 considers the text as a total work of art, which encompasses painting, music, dance and poetry in addition to storytelling, while the nal chapter returns to the philosophical implications of truth in storytelling, presenting Boccaccios text in psychoanalytic terms as a transitional object, used to relate ction to reality. Kuhns is not an Italianist by formation, but rather a philosopher of literature, and there are necessarily many gaps in his knowledge of Boccaccio (most notably in his knowledge of recent critical literature). His contention that the Decameron is a straightforwardly pro-feminist text is perhaps a little simplistic, given recent feminist readings (for example, Migiel). Nonetheless, both the specialist and general reader alike will nd much of interest here. At its best, this book refracts Boccaccios text through the lens of performative and material culture, and forces the reader to reassess it in a new light. Simone Marchesis Stratigrae decameroniane is concerned with the study of Boccaccios intertextual strategies, and is directed clearly towards the Boccaccio specialist, rather than the general reader. It is surely no accident that the organization of the book mimics Boccaccios own structuring principles in the Decameron, with a proemial preface, introduction, four chapters, and an authorial conclusion. The preface and introduction set out the fundamental premises of this study: that the Decameron, like Dantes Commedia before it, is a text which operates on multiple levels; it is the readers role to tease out the meanings which lie below the surface. This layered ordering of meaning is analogous to Marchesis governing metaphor for Boccaccios intertextual reference: the stratigrae of the title. Marchesi suggests a three-dimensional model of allusion, where Boccaccios literary sources are arranged one above another, each corresponding to a different literary culture. By focusing not only on the philological relations between texts, but also on the receptive role of the contemporary reader (or auditor), Marchesi is able to show that Boccaccios text is targeted at and comprehensible by different reading communities, all of whom are able to construct their own meanings depending on their own literary culture. In Chapter 1, Marchesi suggests that a previously-unrecognized allusion to Aristotles Rhetorica in the Proemio is the key to unlocking Boccaccios generic denition of his text, and that Quintilian, alongside Ovid, is central to the authorial self-defences within the text. Chapter 2


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develops this idea, contending that the authors self-defence in the Introduction to Day I V is in fact an invitation to intertextual reection. Tracing an allusion from Dante through to Horaces rst satire, he shows the close links between the Decameron and Horace, not only in terms of textual allusion, but also in the deep structuring principles of the text. Chapter 3 traces the similarities between Virgils Dido and the character of Lisabetta (I V, 5); the links are shown through intertextual allusion not only to the Aeneid but also to subsequent retellings of the Dido myth in classical and vernacular literature, such as early Dante commentaries. The nal chapter demonstrates the importance of the Calandrino cycle of tales to the meta-narrative, by analysing a cluster of related allusions (classical, bibical, and patristic) that create an intertextual dialogue about the nature of the narrative experience itself. In the conclusion, Marchesi rejects narrowly philological or semiological approaches, and argues instead for a third way of responding to the text based on Jausss Rezeptionsthetik. In order to understand Boccaccios referential practices, we must instead focus on the relationship between the author, his rst readers, and their horizons of expectation. In conclusion, Marchesis book makes a very valuable contribution to the analysis of Boccaccios intertextual practice, not least because of his skilful incorporation of the manuscript paratext into the philological eld. His sensitivity to narrative structures and echoes is notable, and this book deserves to be widely read. University of Cardiff
secondary Reviews of books books review X XX Reviews of REVIEWS OF BOOKS

Guyda Armstrong

Ivo Biagianti, Storie di Famiglia. Nobili, capitani, dottori nei Ricordi della famiglia De Giudici di Arezzo (14931769) (Fonti e Studi di Storia Aretina, II). Florence: Casa Ed. Leo S. Olschki, 2004. 207pp. $21.00. ISBN 88 222 54147.
In many respects, Arezzos De Giudici family embodied the spirit and experience of the early modern service nobility, at least insofar as the term is applicable to Italian society. They attained a measure of local prominence in the later fourteenth century, but owed their rapid rise in the early modern period to the services they rendered to various potentates, both in Italy and farther aeld. Arezzos ancient enmity with Florence did not prevent the opportunistic De Giudici from establishing a particularly close relationship with the Medici rulers of Tuscany, under whose tutelage the familys fortunes bloomed. The steady growth of De Giudici territorial possessions during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries inevitably led to patrimonial divisions around which distinct family branches grew up, though the family never surrendered its sense of solidarity or lost sight of its collective goals. Unabashed social climbers, the De Giudici rst applied themselves to the pursuit of advantageous marriages; then became a family into which others aspired to marry. As naval commanders and captains of war, jurists and judges, administrators and counsellors, priests and abbesses, they increased their wealth and prestige through ministration to the great until they numbered themselves among the premiere Tuscan families of the early modern period. Ivo Biagiantis Storie di Famiglia. Nobili, capitani, dottori nei Ricordi della famiglia De Giudici di Arezzo (1493 1769) documents quite literally the fortunes of