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Durham e-Theses
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Giovanni Sercambi: Storia e finzione
in un narratore toscano medievale

MARI, FABRIZIO (2012) Giovanni Sercambi: Storia e finzione
in un narratore toscano medievale.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis traces the relationship between ‘recounting History’ and ‘re-counting Fiction’ through the analysis of the Croniche di Lucca and the Novelle by Giovanni Sercambi of Lucca (1345-1424). With the rise of literacy, vernacu-lar chronicles and collections of short-stories became increasingly popular among non-literati people, who had not received a formal education and could not read Latin, and consequently showed a marked preference for the fruition of stories in their native tongue. Scholars have already addressed a number of peculiarities that characterize the two works in question. In this thesis the point of view of Sercambi as author, as well as that of his contemporary audience, will be put under the lens. The key argument of the thesis is that Sercambi used the genre of the short story with the intent of shrouding historical facts with a veil of fictional narrative. He was aware that the choice of story-telling represented an alternative and effective vehicle for the transmission of political messages to those Lucchese citizens who read and listened to his stories being read out at Paolo Guinigi’s court. In his short stories Sercambi used the names and circumstances of real Lucchese people for the characterization of a number of personages. Through the examination of untapped archival sources that cast considerable light on Sercambi’s highly personalized approach to narrative, the thesis represents a first attempt to highlight Sercambi’s original contribution to the tradition of the Italian short story. It emerges from this research that Sercambi appears to have achieved a virtuous compromise by being able to mention Paolo Guinigi’s shortcomings as a ruler of Lucca, while at the same time exploring an alternative mode of writing about Lucca’s political and moral decay.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Giovanni Sercambi Lucca (sec. XV) Archivio di Stato di Lucca
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Feb 2013 09:43

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