Where does the Decameron begin? Editorial practice and tables of rubrics

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Tables of rubrics, though present in manuscripts and editions of the Decameron, are ignored in the critical literature and treated as instrumental paratext in a recent critical edition. This article argues that tables of rubrics should be viewed as part of the Decameron, proposing a new definition of paratext. Analysis of tables presented in editions of the Decameron up to 1600 contributes new empirical evidence regarding the relationship between editorial fashioning and literary interpretation: the novelle and characters of the brigata are emphasized at the expense of the primary narrator, which continues to have an impact on Boccaccio’s authorial status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-78
Number of pages27
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Material Texts
  • Centre for Medieval Studies


  • rubrics
  • rubrication
  • titling
  • paratext
  • editors
  • editing
  • print culture


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