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The Corbaccio: Introduction to the Online Edition

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The text used on the site is based on the most recent critical edition prepared by Giorgio Padoan for the Mondadori collected works of Boccaccio, Tutte le opere di Giovanni Boccaccio, 12 vols, ed. by Vittore Branca (Milan: Mondadori, 1964-), V (ii) (1994), 413-614. The electronic edition has been proofread against the critical edition several times, and the paragraph numeration conforms to that used in the Padoan edition. However, it is possible that typographical errors may have crept in during the preparation of the text, and users who discover any mistakes are asked to contact the Decameron Web editors via the Guestbook.

Encoding principles

The electronic text was first mounted early in 2002 as an SGML-encoded text, readable through the Dynaweb internet server provided by the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University. Recently, the text encoding was converted to XML, and Corbaccio is now accessed through Apache's Tomcat servlet container. The structural organization of the electronic text remains the same in the new encoding.

Structure of the electronic text

In order to make the text more navigable, it was necessary to divide it into constituent parts. The Corbaccio does not possess the type of formal organizing structure that can be seen, for example, in the Decameron, and thus it was necessary to superimpose a narrative (and by extension, interpretative) scheme onto Boccaccio's text. We decided to base our divisions on those suggested by Robert Hollander in his book, Boccaccio's Last Fiction: The Corbaccio (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988), pp. 2-3, with some simplifications. The narrative frames employed for our electronic text thus reinforce the formal chiasmic structure of the text, as can be seen by our seven-part schema:

Part I: Proemio: Incipit
    Part II: Cornice (Frame)
        Part III: Sogno: Inferno (Dream: Hell)
            Part IV: Sogno: Dialogo (Dream: Dialogue)
        Part V: Sogno: Purgatorio (Dream: Purgatory)
    Part VI: Cornice (Frame)
Part VII: Conclusione: Explicit

Unlike Hollander, we follow Padoan's paragraph numeration (shown in coloured square brackets at every paragraph), and we have combined as one section the various parts of the dialogue between the Narrator and Guide.

Search functions

Currently, only a word search is available for this electronic text. The search is currently case-sensitive, and thus we recommend that searches are undertaken twice, in order to find all possible occurrences of words. Proper names should be capitalized for searching.

Successful search results are presented as a table of key words in context. The location of the word is shown as a link in green square brackets, showing the part of the text in which the word occurs and the paragraph number. Unfortunately, at this time it is only possible to go to the beginning of each of the seven sections, NOT to the actual keyword in the text. We recommend that you make a note of the paragraph number until we have fixed this glitch!


Main: Texts: Corbaccio: Introduction to the Online Edition

Corbaccio Links:

Introduction to the text
Introduction to the online edition
Summary of the text
Major online sources for the Corbaccio
Some critical questions about the Corbaccio
Select Corbaccio bibliography

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