Literary and Non-literary Pastimes in a Playful Genre: Self-image in the Seventeenth Century
The Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (SASMARS)
The French frame novel is considered to have its origins in Boccaccio’s Decameron (1352).1 Production continues strongly from the Cent Nouvelles nouvelles (anonymous) of 1456, through Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron (1559), Jacques Yver’s Printemps (1572), Bénigne Poissenot’s Esté (1583), etc. until a slight reduction in productivity in the first half of the seventeenth century. Until then, all the frame novels, like Boccaccio’s, were a mixture of bawdy material strongly related to the fabliau tradition, and tragico-serious exemplary tales. The few frame novels that appear during the first half of the seventeenth century, like Charles Sorel’s Les Nouvelles Françaises (1623) abandon the serious tone and present only bawdy and amusing tales.
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