THE TWO VERSIONS OF SERCAMBI'S NOVELLE. Giovanni Sinicropi's recent publication of the first complete edition of Sercambi's Novelle has raised once. REVIEWS Giovanni Sercambi: Hovelle, 2 vols., a cura di Giovanni Si- nicropi. Bari, Laterza, Pp. Surprisingly, this is the first complete edition of. Giovanni Sercambi, Novelle. Front Cover. Francesco Garilli. - 10 pages Title, Giovanni Sercambi, Novelle. Author, Francesco Garilli. Published,


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The documentation of male same-sex desire in medieval Italy is scant but not wholly unavailable. Starting with the theologian Peter Damian ca. Confessional tracts, religious literature, laws, and historical records provide glimpses into the sexual practices between men Goodich Furthermore, there was a literature of giovanni sercambi novelle same-sex desire composed in Latin Boswell Conversely, documentation about giovanni sercambi novelle same-sex desire in Italy during the Middle Ages is virtually nonexistent.

The Novelle of Giovanni Sercambi : typescript, []. (Book, s) []

Undoubtedly there are many reasons for this gap in information. The inequities of education between males and females resulted in fewer opportunities for first-person declarations.

The cultural anxiety about sodomy, giovanni sercambi novelle short, means that there simply was more documentation about it. And the sheer loss of mate- rials over seven centuries should never be discounted.


There is, in short, a silence about sexual desire between women in the Italian Middle Giovanni sercambi novelle that lasts for several centuries. One text in particular addresses female same-sex practices, but it is problematic in this regard.

The Lucchese author Giovanni Sercambi — composed a collection of short stories called simply Novelle Tales, Sercambi [ca.

At times Sercambi depicts women as having sexual desires and possessing the wherewithal to get them met. A beautiful young man named Agnolo Bostoli, in love with a novice named Rosa, disguises himself as a woman to gain access to the convent, straps on the giovanni sercambi novelle device giovanni sercambi novelle engage in sexual activity with the abbess while being initiated, but then has intercourse with Rosa, using his penis, while dressed as a novice himself.

His identity being discovered, Bostoli continues to reside at the convent in female garb for a fortnight, having penile intercourse with many nuns.


Frequently, satires of nuns emphasized their sexual misdeeds, betraying an anxiety on the part of male writers about the relevancy of men in an environment populated only by women. At the same time, the literary satires of the nuns shared with giovanni sercambi novelle more general anticlerical tradition the impulse to highlight the hypocrisy of the reli- gious by contrasting their Giovanni sercambi novelle teachings to their un-Christian behaviors Bayless At the same time, they should not necessarily be discounted; by humor- ously imagining sexual escapades at a nunnery, Sercambi evokes the possibility of a female sexual desire directed toward other women, a concept not otherwise expressed in any extant texts, as well as complexly gendered erotic activities.


His text therefore offers an intriguing and unparalleled view of sexuality and gender in medieval Italy, however distorted that view might be.

In this translation, the giovanni sercambi novelle reflects the original as much as possible. It includes analytical essays on authors and works, from the most important figures of Italian literature to little known authors and works that are influential to the field.

Entries consist of an essay on the topic and a bibliographic portion listing works for giovanni sercambi novelle reading, and, in the case of entries on individuals, a brief biographical paragraph and list of works by the person.