Cassandra Campbell joins us today, offering The Stone of Invisibility, a tale from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. Cassandra also joins Jen at Devourer of Books today, so be sure to check it out!
The Stone of Invisibility
Boccaccio’s Decameron was compiled in the aftermath of the Black plague of 1348, which decimated the city of Florence. The book consists of ten days of storytelling comprising a hundred novelle or short stories that range in subject matter from the romantic to the bawdy: there are cuckolds, lascivious friars, greddy merchants, foolish painters and lusty abbesses and sometimes noble passion. Told by ten young Florentines who escape the city and organize themselves in a villa in the Tuscan countryside, each day a theme is chosen for the stories. Boccaccio’s book was dedicated to the women of Florence and the novelle influenced writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare.
Based on a real painter, Nozzo di Perino, Calandrino is a simpleton who believes in folk magic that makes him the target of Bruno and Buffalmacco’s jokes. Calandrino collects heliotrope along the banks of the Mugnone which, he thinks will render him invisible, but all he gets is a stoning by his friends on the way home. The friends execute the trick so well, no one acknowledges Calandrino all through town. When he gets home, his wife scolds him for being late for dinner. Calandrino becomes enraged that his wife has destroyed the magic of the stone and curses women. He friends show him the folly of his ways.
Devourer of Books has been bringing the internet bookish (and audiobookish) goodness since Jen founded it in 2008. Jen is a reader, blogger, freelance writer, and literary agent behind the blog. For more audiobook fun, check out Audiobook Week at Devourer of Books June 17-21.