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Italian literature

The Fourteenth Century

The two great writers of the 14th cent., Petrarch and Boccaccio, sought out and imitated the works of antiquity and cultivated their own artistic personalities. Petrarch achieved fame through his collection of poems, the Canzoniere, in which he gave Provençal and stil novo themes a peculiarly intimate and personal expression. Petrarch's poetry served as the model for European lyricism until the Romantic period and later. Equally influential was Boccaccio's Decameron, a collection of 100 novellas within a framework, which founded the short-story genre. Giovanni Sercambi and Franco Sacchetti in the 14th cent. and Matteo Bandello and Agnolo Firenzuola in the 16th cent. were among the numerous writers who continued the tradition of vivid, realistic, and often licentious storytelling in prose.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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