Terry Jones introduces another tasty Renaissance tale, starring John Finnemore as a lovelorn knight.
The one hundred stories which make up Giovanni Boccaccio’s humane and comic masterpiece, come from all over the world. This Renaissance work is considered a landmark in world literature.
The stories are vividly reset by Boccaccio among the flourishing merchant classes in the cities of fourteenth-century Italy. But their witty, satirical, bawdy voice sounds utterly modern, and their subjects – love, fate, sex, religion, morality – are universal.
Today’s theme is “Lovers who, after many disasters, finally find happiness.”
Courtly Federigo spends every last groat trying to win the affections of the beautiful Monna. But there is only one thing of his that she wants. And it has feathers.
Don’t forget to listen to this, tonight at 10.45 on Radio 3. Starring John Finnemore & Carrie Quinlan!
It’s on in 2 minutes! Listen here!
The dictatorship still casts a big shadow, though sometimes indirectly, as in Sobrevivientes (Shipwrecked) by Fernando Monacelli. Twenty-five years after the war in the Falklands, a mother finds the frozen body of a soldier, her son, adrift in a lifeboat near the Antarctic. In other cases it is barely perceptible or merely metaphorical. Soy Paciente (Patient), a novel by Ana María Shua, tells the story of a man who goes into hospital, but its irony and black humour conceals scathing criticism of the dictatorship. Carlos Bernatek operates along similar lines. “The 1970s are lurking in all my novels,” he says. “But I refuse to be over-explicit. I would rather the reader guessed.” He pauses for thought, then adds: “As Argentinians we are still living with people who, though they may not actually have tortured anyone, were accomplices to torture … If you add that to the memory of the [American] Indian genocide, during colonisation, and the fact that towns like Bariloche, in Río Negre province, welcomed Nazis on the run after the second world war, you begin to understand why Borges said that ‘being an Argentinian is an escapable act of fate’!” No doubt in an attempt to escape this fate, some authors have looked elsewhere for inspiration. They have fled in their imaginations to Mexico or France, as with Federico Jeanmaire in Vida Interior (Interior Life) or Pablo de Santis in El Enigma de Paris (The Paris Enigma). Others, such as César Aira and Sergio Bizzio take refuge in absurd, eccentric tales. Rodrigo Fresán and Leandro Avalos Blacha revel in fantasy, whereas Selva Almada moves to the country, in a deeply personal novel. In another form of flight, Damian Tabarovsky experiments freely in Autobiografia Medica (Medical Autobiography), combining a narrative form that defies classification with philosophical inquiry. So there is a lot going on and it is very diverse.
Last Saturday, the 15th of March, Akram Zaatari and Rana Zincir engaged on a very inspiring conversation around the prolific artistic production of Akram Zaatari. Rana Zincir wrote 6 words on postcards and let Zaatari choose among them and then talk about what they mean for him and his artistic production: Longing, peace, chronicle, resistance, artifacts and finally history were the words… But other words also came forward such as memory, archeology, conflict, identities, documentation and photography…
Kind of brilliant approach to sparking a conversation. Stealing that forthwith…
Illustrations for Heart of Darkness, by Matt Kish (via http://hyperallergic.com/115362/art-of-darkness-matt-kish-illustrates-conrads-classic/)