which occurred on a 21 December:
Nicole Isabel Castro [20 Dec 1981–], she died in her sleep,
possibly from an overdose of the drugs prescribed for her bipolar condition.
She was a parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption parish in El Paso, Texas.
2006 Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov (or
Saparmyrat Atażewiç Nyżazow) Turkmenbashi
(“Father of Turkmens” the name he gave himself, egotistic
Communist dictator of Turkmenistan since 1985 (as 1st Secretary of the Turkmen
Communist Party, then, since 21 June 1991, as President), born on 19 February
2005 Eric Manny, 35, California
traffic policeman in a patrol car which overturns during a chase on Interstate
Highway 5 between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. —(060807)
Twenty-seven persons at Ilado, Nigeria, by explosion and fire of
a pipeline which they had perforated to steal fuel. —(061226)
2004 Twenty-two persons, in a 12:00 (09:00 UT) explosion
by a suicide bomber of Ansar al-Sunna, which shoots pellet shrapnel through
the large lunch hall tent at “forward operating base Marez”
at the airfield of Mosul, Iraq, where US occupation and Iraqi puppet National
Guardsmen were waiting for lunch. The dead include 13 US soldiers, 3 Iraqi
soldiers, and 5 US civilians, besides the suicide bomber. 69 persons are
wounded. Apparently the US forces never learn to avoid large concentrations
of people whom the terrorists like to kill.
2004 Six persons
when, at 02:00 (23:00 UT 20 Dec), US warplanes hit Hit, a town in Anbar
province, Iraq, in its eastern neighborhoods Jamaiya and Sinai. 9 persons
2002 Two Afghan children on the ground and all
seven Germans soldiers:
Capt. Friedrich Deininger, 53;
Junior Sgt. Frank Ehrlich;
Main Sgt. Heinz-Ullrich Hewußt;
Main Sgt. Bernhard Kaiser;
Main Sgt. Thomas Schiebel;
Main Pfc. Enrico Schmidt;
1st Lt. Uwe Vierling; 31;
aboard a helicopter which crashes near Kabul, Afghanistan after
catching fire. The Germans were soldiers of the Iinternational Security
Assistance Force for Kabul (4800 soldiers including 1250 Germans). Their
military helicopter was a Sikorsky CH-53 “Sea Stallion”. —
2002 Sgt. Steven Checo, 22, in a fight
started near village Shkin in Paktika province, Afghanistan, at 04:00 when
his patrol of the US 82nd Airborne Division approached a suspicious group
of some eight men, who ran away and then turned and fired. This is the 16th
US serviceman killed in Afghanistan since the US attacked al-Qaeda and the
Taliban in 2001, and the first on since Sergeant Gene Arden Vance, ambushed
and killed by al Qaeda suspects in the same area on 19 May 2002. In this
campaign, the US military has been very successful in limiting its own deaths,
while seeming indifferent to the deaths of thousands of allied Afghan fighters
and innocent civilians, not to mention the enemy.
Abu-Samah, 12, Palestinian girl, shot in the leg, in the afternoon,
by Israeli troops who were in a gunfight with some Palestinians, in Rafah,
Seator, falling from the roof of his three-story house. Born
on 05 June 1956, he was a so-called “sculptor” who became known
for such works as his 1997 B.D.O., an office salvaged from the
remodeling of a building, tilted at a 45 degree angle; or his 1999 remodeling
of an art gallery into a check-cashing store..
2001 Five Palestinians,
in gunfight started by mourners at the funeral of a 17-year-old
Islamic Jihad supporter firing at the Palestinian police station of the
Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip. Police officers return fire. The battle
goes on for more than an hour, despite appeals from mosque preachers and
the head of Islamic Jihad in the camp.The dead include at least two Islamic
Jihad gunmen. About 55 persons are wounded. The al-Aqsa intifada body count
now exceeds 840 Palestinians and 240 Israelis.
Marish, 18, Palestinian hit by heavy-caliber gunfire from an Israeli
tank on Thursday as he was walking to his home near the Karni crossing between
Israel and the Gaza Strip.
2000 Ahmed Awad, 41,
Palestinian, by Israeli gunfire in a clash near the town of Tulkarem In
the West Bank. The Israeli military said Palestinians fired at an army vehicle,
and soldiers fired back. Palestinians said that Awad was in his house when
he was shot.
1995 Sesenta muertos y un centenar de heridos al estallar
un coche-bomba en un mercado de Peshawar (Pakistán).
2000 Al Gross, 82, inventor of the
walkie-talkie and a father of wireless communication, in Sun City
When Gross, who was born
in Toronto and grew up in Cleveland, demonstrated his prototype pager
at a medical conference in 1956, it flopped. Doctors told him they
didn't want to be bothered during their golf games. Decades later,
it delighted him to see such wide use of cellular phones and pagers,
a technological offshoot from his first devices. He earned a degree
in electrical engineering at Cleveland's Case School of Applied Science,
now Case Western Reserve University. Seeing the potential for walkie-talkies,
the military recruited Gross into the Office of Strategic Services,
the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. There he developed
a ground-to-air, battery-operated radio that could transmit up to
50 km. The device is credited with saving lives during World War II.
After the war, he formed the
Citizens Radio Corp. in Cleveland to produce two-way radios for the
public. His successful gave Gross the freedom and money to continue
inventing. In 1949 he devised the first wireless pager.
Gross' ideas, for which he held many patents, were so far advanced
that most expired before the world was ready for his inventions, and
he didn't make much money. I was born 35 years too soon," he
once told the Arizona Republic. If I still had the patents on
my inventions, Bill Gates would have to stand aside for me.
1991 L'U.R.S.S se dissocie
La création de la Communauté des Etats Indépendants
consacre l’éclatement de l’Empire Soviétique.
Les anciennes républiques soviétiques, sauf les Etats
Baltes et la Géorgie s’associent ainsi dans un nouveau
bloc où les relations entre les états ne sont plus marquées
par le totalitarisme soviétique.
Le putsch politique de 1990, en Russie, ne met pas fin au processus
de négociation d’un traité d’union entre
les états de l’ancien empire rouge. Il reprend au début
de septembre. Un traité de communauté économique
est paraphé, puis signé en octobre. Mais seules deux
des républiques slaves sont présentes. L’Ukraine
de traité d’union discuté en novembre au Conseil
d’État, organe composé des présidents des
républiques sous la présidence de Mikhaïl Gorbatchev,
ne sera pas signé. Les présidents préfèrent
le renvoyer aux Soviets suprêmes des républiques fédérées
pour gagner du temps, en attendant le résultat du référendum
en Ukraine, le 1er décembre. Mais l’Ukraine, qui en mars
s’était prononcée pour le maintien de l’union,
tranche cette fois en faveur de l’indépendance.
Boris Eltsine change alors de stratégie.
Il laisse de côté le président de l’U.R.S.S.
et conclut, à Minsk, le 8 décembre 1991, avec les présidents
ukrainien et biélorusse un accord sur la création d’une
Communauté des États indépendants (C.E.I.). Les
compétences de cette dernière sont réduites à
celles qui avaient fait l’objet du traité russo-ukrainien
du 19 novembre 1990 : coordination de la politique extérieure,
coopération dans la formation et le développement de
l’espace économique commun, dans les domaines des transports,
de la protection de l’environnement, des migrations, de la criminalité.
Le 13 décembre, à
Achkhabad, les chefs d’État des cinq républiques
d’Asie centrale expriment le regret d’avoir été
ignorés, mais manifestent le désir de rejoindre la Communauté
avec le statut de membre fondateur. L’élargissement de
la Communauté est réalisé à Alma-Ata,
le 21 décembre 1991, avec non seulement les cinq républiques
d’Asie centrale, mais aussi l’Arménie, l’Azerbaïdjan
et la Moldavie.
Les onze présidents
constatent que, avec la formation de la Communauté des États
indépendants, l’union des républiques socialistes
soviétiques cesse d’exister. Ils s’engagent à
assurer l’exécution des obligations internationales découlant
des traités et accords de l’ancienne U.R.S.S. et donnent
leur accord pour que la Russie succède à l’U.R.S.S.
à l’O.N.U., y compris comme membre permanent du Conseil
1988 Melina Hudson, 16, Flora Swire, 23, Miriam Luby
Wolfe, 20, Thomas Ammerman, 36, Alexander Lowenstein, 21, Theodora
Cohen, 20, spouses Paula Jablonsky Bouckley and Glenn Bouckley, John
Patrick Flynn, John Cummock, Colleen Brunner, Suzanne Miazga, Christopher
Jones (born 4 March 1968), 20, Sarah Philipps, 20, Alexia Tsairis,
20, Karen Hunt, 20, Beth Ann Johnson, 21, Robert Leckburg Jr., 30,
Richard Monetti, 20, Sgt. Phillip V. Bergstrom, Tony Hawkins, and
238 others on Pan Am Flight 103, and 11 in Lockerbie, as the plane
York bound Pan Am jumbo jet explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, all
258 aboard die. Libya is suspected.Pan Am 103 disintegrated in mid-flight,
when a timer on a portable cassette radio packed with explosives blew
up in the plane’s forward cargo bay.
Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie,
Scotland, an hour after departure. A bomb that had been hidden inside
an audio cassette player detonated inside the cargo area when the
plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. All 259 passengers, including
38 Syracuse University students returning home for the holidays, were
killed in the explosion. In addition, 11 residents of Lockerbie were
killed in the shower of airplane parts that unexpectedly fell from
Islamic terrorists of having placed the bomb on the plane while it
was at the low-security airport in Frankfurt, Germany. They apparently
believed that the attack was in retaliation for either the 1986 bombing
attack on Libya in which Gadhafi was the target, or a 1988 incident,
in which the United States killed 290 passengers when it mistakenly
shot down an Iran Air commercial flight over the Persian Gulf.
Sixteen days before the explosion over
Lockerbie, a call was made to the US embassy in Helsinki, Finland,
warning that a bomb would be placed on a Pan Am flight out of Frankfurt.
Though some claimed that travelers should have been alerted to this
threat, US officials later said that the connection between the call
and the bomb was purely coincidental.
In the early 1990s, investigators identified Libyan intelligence agents
Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah as suspects,
but Libya refused to turn them over to be tried in the United States.
But in 1999--in an effort to ease United Nations sanctions against
Libya--Colonel Moammar Gadhafi agreed to turn the suspects over to
Scotland for trial in the Netherlands using Scottish law and prosecutors.
Pan Am "Flight 103"explodes
over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 -- In the evening of December
21st. 1988 flight Pan Am 103 exploded and pieces of the plane fell
onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 259 people on the plane
and 11 people on the ground. -- Pan Am 103 climbed into the dark English
sky at 6:25 in the evening on December 21, 1988. It headed northwest
from London's Heathrow Airport toward Scotland and the North Sea and,
ultimately, scheduled destinations in New York and Detroit. The Jumbo
Jet carried 259 passengers and crew. The majority were Americans,
many of them returning for holiday gatherings with family and friends.
But just 38 minutes into the flight, as the 747 cruised at 31,000
feet over the border from England into Scotland, something in the
cargo hold exploded. It blew a hole the size of a large dinner plate
in the airliner's skin. The loss of air pressure caused a powerful
rush that broke the plane to pieces. Six miles below, in the Scottish
border town of Lockerbie a wing of the 747 fell directly on three
houses, creating a fireball that burned so hot it vaporized the homes
and the eleven people inside them.
of the victims were Americans
average passenger age was 27 — dozens of students returning
home from studying abroad.
Marion Alderman Jablonski of Rome, N.Y., can remember the enormity
of all those racks of goods, the way Thomson handed her a blue dress
worn by her daughter, Paula.
Anna Marie Miazga, from Marcy. Anna Marie began weeping. She wore
a photo of her daughter Suzanne, an SU student,
, Patricia Brunner. Pat is from suburban Buffalo. Her daughter Colleen,
of Oswego State, was a passenger on Pan Am
Wolfe, of Alexandria, Va., whose 20-year-old stepdaughter, Miriam,
Kathleen Flynn of Montville,
N.J., whose son, John Patrick Flynn, was returning on Flight 103 from
a European study program.
N.Y., which lost 35 college students in the crash. 35 Syracuse University
said Susan Cohen of
Cape May Court House, N.J., the mother of 20-year-old Theodora Cohen,
who died in the crash of Flight 103.
Hudson, a New York lawyer whose 16-year-old daughter, Melina, died
on Pan Am 103. Melina was a high-school exchange student on her way
home from Exeter
Across the Atlantic,
in the English Midlands, parents of another young victim were equally
devastated. Flora Swire was a gifted and vivacious 23-year-old medical
student flying to New York to visit her American boyfriend when she
died on Pan Am 103.
a New Jersey businessman, lost his son Alex
At approximately 7:03 p.m., Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over the Scottish
city of Lockerbie, killing all 259 people aboard the plane. Fragments
of the plane are scattered around the Lockerbie area, and several
large pieces crash into residential homes and buildings in the city,
killing eleven people on the ground. The 747 jumbo jet was on its
way from Frankfurt to New York via London, and was flying at 9500
m when the explosion occurred. The subsequent investigation by American
and Scottish authorities indicates that the blast was caused by a
bomb smuggled into the aircraft within a portable radio. Heathrow
Airport in London soon comes under fire for its ineffective security
measures and the US State Department offers a $400'000 reward for
the capture of the terrorists responsible. In November of 1991, US
and British investigators simultaneously name Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi
and Lamen Kalifa Fhima, two Libyans, as the key suspects in the case.
The men were working as airline officials in the office of Libyan
Arab Airlines at Luqa International Airport in Malta at the time of
the incident, and the prosecutors believe that they could have smuggled
the bomb through the luggage transferring system. The US State Department
subsequently offers a four-million-dollar reward for the capture of
the suspects dead or alive, although there is considerable criticism
from the Western media and other groups about the quality of the investigation
and its findings.
Libyan dictator Ghaddafi refuses to surrender the two suspects, but,
hoping to get lifted the resulting sanctions against his country,
finally agrees that they be tried by a Scottish court sitting in the
Netherlands. On 31 January 2001, that court would convict Abdel Baset
Ali Megrahi and acquit Lamen Kalifa Fhima.
1980 Marc Connelly, 90, playwright
(One Minute Please)
1975 Three people killed in attack on OPEC Headquarters
led by Carlos the Jackal
In Vienna, Austria, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal,"
leads Arab terrorists on a raid of a meeting of oil ministers from
the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The terrorists
storm in with machine guns, kill three people, and take seventy people
hostage, including eleven OPEC ministers. The group, calling themselves
the "Arm of the Arab Revolution," demand that an anti-Zionist political
statement that they had prepared be read on radio stations across
the Middle East. The Austrian government subsequently agrees to negotiate
with the terrorists, and eventually allows the terrorists to travel
with their hostages to Algeria, where the eleven OPEC ministers and
their staff are released unharmed. In 1949, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez
was born the son of a millionaire Marxist lawyer in Caracas, Venezuela,
and attended Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow where he first became
involved with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. During
the 1970s and early 1980s, he acted as a freelance terrorist for various
Arab groups, and is alleged to have killed as many as eighty people
in a chain of bombings, hijackings, and assassinations. Among the
famous terrorists attacks he is linked to are the 1972 massacre of
Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, the 1975 seizure of OPEC
oil ministers, the 1976 Palestinian hijacking of a French jetliner
to Entebbe, Uganda, and half-a-dozen attacks on French targets. Nearly
apprehended on several occasions, Carlos the Jackal manages to evade
international authorities until 1994, when French agents capture him
hiding in the Sudan. Secretly extradited to France, he is sent to
a French prison where he spends three years before being put on trial
in 1997 for the 1974 Paris murders of two French secret agents and
a pro-Palestinian Lebanese turned informer. On December 23, 1997,
a French jury finds Sanchez guilty, and he is sentenced to life imprisonment.
1954 Marilyn Sheppard, murdered, wife
of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who is accused of the crime.
An earthquake and tidal wave kill hundreds in Japan.
1941 Tomás Vargas Osorio, poeta y periodista colombiano.
1945 George S. Patton, Jr., 60, the
audacious and eccentric American general, dies in a hospital in Heidelberg,
Germany, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Mannheim.
Born in San Gabriel, California, in 1885, Patton, whose family had
a long history of military service, Patton graduated from the West
Point Military Academy in 1909. He represented the United States in
the 1912 Olympics--as the first American participant in the pentathlon.
He did not win a medal. During World War I, he served as a tank officer
in France, and these experiences, along with his extensive military
study, made Patton a dedicated proponent of tank warfare.
During World War II, as commander of the US 7th Army, he captured
Palermo, Sicily, in 1943 by just such means. Patton's audacity became
evident in 1944, when, during the Battle of the Bulge, he employed
an unorthodox strategy that involved a 90-degree pivoting move of
his 3rd Army forces, enabling him to speedily relieve the besieged
Allied defenders of Bastogne, Belgium.
Along the way, Patton's mouth proved as dangerous to his career as
the Germans. When he berated and slapped a hospitalized soldier diagnosed
with "shell shock," but whom Patton accused of "malingering," the
press turned on him, and pressure was applied to cut him down to size.
He might have found himself enjoying early retirement had not General
Dwight Eisenhower and General George Marshall intervened on his behalf.
After several months of inactivity, he was put back to work.
And work he did-at the Battle of the
Bulge, during which Patton once again succeeded in employing a complex
and quick-witted strategy, turning the German thrust into Bastogne
into an Allied counterthrust, driving the Germans east across the
Rhine. In March 1945, Patton's army swept through southern Germany
into Czechoslovakia-which he was stopped from capturing by the Allies,
out of respect for the Soviets' postwar political plans for Eastern
Patton had many gifts,
but diplomacy was not one of them. After the war, while stationed
in Germany, he criticized the process of denazification, the removal
of former Nazi Party members from positions of political, administrative,
and governmental power. His impolitic press statements questioning
the policy caused Eisenhower to remove him as US commander in Bavaria.
He was transferred to the 15th Army Group, but in December of 1945
he suffered a broken neck in a car accident and died less than two
After the American entrance into World War II, Patton, who been placed
in command of an important US tank division, played a key role in
the Allied invasion of French North Africa in 1942. In 1943, Patton
led the US Seventh Army in its assault on Sicily, and in 1944 commanded
the US Third Army in the invasion of France. In December of 1944,
Patton's supreme expertise in military movement and tank warfare helped
crush the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes during the Battle
of the Bulge. Although Patton was one of the ablest American commanders
from World War II, he was also one of the most controversial. He presented
himself as a modern-day cavalryman, designed his own uniform, and
was known to make eccentric claims of his direct descent from great
military leaders of the past through reincarnation.
During the Sicilian campaign, Patton generated considerable controversy
when he accused a US soldier suffering from a psychological disorder
of being a coward, and then proceeded to strike the young man across
his face. The famously profane general was forced to issue a public
apology and was reprimanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. However,
when time for the invasion of Western Europe came, Eisenhower could
find no general as formidable as Patton, and the general was again
granted an important military post. During one of his many successful
campaigns, General Patton was once said to have declared, "compared
to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.
1940 Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald,
US author, of a heart attack in Hollywood. He was born on 24 September
1896. His most brilliant novel is The Great Gatsby.
was the only son of an unsuccessful, aristocratic father and an energetic,
provincial mother. Half the time he thought of himself as the heir
of his father's tradition, which included the author of “The
Star-Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, after whom he was
named, and half the time as “straight 1850 potato-famine Irish.”
As a result he had typically ambivalent US feelings about US life,
which seemed to him at once vulgar and dazzlingly promising.
He also had an intensely romantic imagination, what he once called
“a heightened sensitivityto the promises of life,” and
he charged into experience determined to realize those promises. At
both St. Paul Academy (1908–1910) and Newman School (1911–1913)
he tried too hard and made himself unpopular, but at Princeton he
came close to realizing his dream of a brilliant success. He became
a prominent figure in the literary life of the university and made
lifelong friendships with Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop. He
became a leading figure inthe socially important Triangle Club, a
dramatic society, and was elected to one of the leadingclubs of the
university; he fell in love with Ginevra King, one of the beauties
of her generation. Then he lost Ginevra and flunked out of Princeton.
He returned to Princeton the next fall, but he had now lost all the
positions he coveted, and in November 1917 he left to join the army.
In July 1918, while he was stationed near Montgomery, Ala., he met
Zelda Sayre [24 Jul 1900 – 10 Mar 1948], the daughter of an
Alabama Supreme Court judge. They fell deeply in love, and, as soon
as he could, Fitzgerald headed for New York determined to achieve
instant success and to marry Zelda. What he achieved was an advertising
job at $90 a month. Zelda broke their engagement, and, after an epic
drunk, Fitzgerald retired to St. Paul to rewrite for the second time
a novel he had begun at Princeton. In the spring of 1920 it was published,
he married Zelda, and “riding in a taxi one afternoon between
very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because
I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again.”
Immature though it seems today,
This Side of Paradise in 1920 was a revelation of the new
morality of the young; it made Fitzgerald famous. This fame opened
to him magazines of literary prestige, such as Scribner's, and high-paying
popular ones, such as The Saturday Evening Post. This sudden
prosperity made it possible for him and Zelda to play the roles theywere
so beautifully equipped for, and Ring Lardner called them the prince
and princess of their generation. Though they loved these roles, they
were frightened by them, too, as shown by the ending of Fitzgerald's
second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922), which describes
a handsome young man and his beautiful wife, who gradually degenerate
into a shopworn middle age while they wait for the young man to inherit
a large fortune. Ironically, they finally get it, when there is nothing
of them left worth preserving.
To escape the life that they feared might bring them to this end,
the Fitzgeralds (together with their daughter, Frances, called “Scottie,”
born in 1921) moved in 1924 to the Riviera, where they found themselves
a part of a group of US expatriates whose style was largely set by
Gerald Murphy [25 Mar 1888 – 17 Oct 1964] and Sara Wiborg Murphy
[07Nov 1883 – 10 Oct 1975]; Fitzgerald described this society
in his last completed novel, Tender Is the Night, and modeled
its hero on Gerald Murphy. Shortly after their arrival in France,
Fitzgerald completed his most brilliant novel, The Great Gatsby
(1925). All of his divided nature is in this novel, the naive Midwesterner
afire with the possibilities of the “American Dream” in
its hero, Jay Gatsby, and the compassionate Princeton gentleman in
its narrator, Nick Carraway. The Great Gatsby is the most
profoundly US novel of its time; at its conclusion, Fitzgerald connects
Gatsby's dream, his “Platonic conception of himself,”
with the dream of the discoverers of America. Some of Fitzgerald's
finest short stories appeared in All the Sad Young Men (1926),
particularly “The Rich Boy” and “Absolution,”
but it was not until eight years later that another novel appeared.
The next decade of the Fitzgeralds'
lives was disorderly and unhappy. Fitzgerald began to drink too much,
and Zelda suddenly, ominously, began to practice ballet dancing night
and day. In 1930 she had a mental breakdown and in 1932 another, from
which she never fully recovered. Through the 1930s they fought to
save their life together, and, when the battle was lost, Fitzgerald
said, “I left my capacity for hoping on the little roads that
led to Zelda's sanitarium.” He did not finish his next novel,
Tender Is the Night, until 1934. It is the story of a psychiatrist
who marries one of his patients, who, as she slowly recovers, exhausts
his vitality until he is, in Fitzgerald's words, un homme épuisé.
Though technically faulty and commercially unsuccessful, this is Fitzgerald's
most moving book.
With its failure
and his despair over Zelda, Fitzgerald was close to becoming an incurable
alcoholic. By 1937, however, he had come back far enough to become
a scriptwriter in Hollywood, and there he met and fell in love with
Sheilah Graham, a famous Hollywood gossip columnist. For the rest
of his life Fitzgerald lived quietly with her, except for occasional
drunken spells when he became bitter and violent. Occasionally he
went east to visit Zelda or his daughter Scottie, who entered Vassar
College in 1938. In October 1939 he began a novel about Hollywood,
The Last Tycoon. The career of its hero, Monroe Stahr, is
based on that of the producer Irving Thalberg. This is Fitzgerald's
final attempt to create his dream of the promises of American life
and of the kind of man who could realize them. In the intensity with
which it is imagined and in the brilliance of its expression, it is
the equal of anything Fitzgerald ever wrote, and it is typical of
his luck that he died of a heart attack with his novel only half-finished.
Scott Fitzgerald, auteur étatsunien de romans
et de nouvelles qui mettent en scène l'ambiance et les mœurs
des années 1920, qu'il appelait "l'âge du Jazz", à
Saint-Paul dans le Minnesota.
À l'université de Princeton, il délaissa les
études classiques pour suivre l'enseignement d'écrivains
et de critiques comme Edmund Wilson, auquel il resta lié toute
sa vie. En 1917, il quitta Princeton pour devenir officier dans l'armée.
C'est dans les camps d'entraînement de l'armée qu'il
procéda à la révision de son premier roman, intitulé
d'abord "l'Égoïste romantique", et publié finalement
sous le titre de This
Side of Paradise (1920). Alors qu'il se trouvait dans un
camp en Alabama, Fitzgerald tomba amoureux de Zelda Sayre, parfait
archétype de la jeune fille fantasque et délurée
de l'époque, figure qui deviendra un élément
essentiel de la fiction fitzgéraldienne. This
Side of Paradise, publié au printemps de 1920, fit
de Fitzgerald un homme riche, assez riche tout au moins pour épouser
la très mondaine Zelda. Dans ce roman autobiographique, la
lost generation, celle de l'après-guerre, totalement désabusée,
trouva un reflet de ses rêves brisés, de ses incertitudes
et de la vacuité de son existence.
L'ouvrage suivant, The Beautiful and Damned (1922), un roman
d'atmosphère qui dépeint les angoisses et la débauche
d'un couple aisé hanté par le pressentiment de la chute
prochaine, reçut un accueil plus mitigé. En revanche,
les nouvelles de Fitzgerald connaissaient un grand succès,
et leurs revenus permettaient d'assurer l'extravagant train de vie
de Zelda, entre hôtels de luxe et événements mondains.
Sur plus de cent cinquante histoires, l'auteur en retint quarante-six
pour les publier dans quatre recueils, parmi lesquels The Children
of Jazz (1920) et A Diamond as Big as the Ritz (1935).
En 1924, les Fitzgerald quittèrent
Long Island pour se rendre sur la Côte d'Azur, et ne revinrent
s'installer aux États-Unis qu'en 1931. En cinq mois, Fitzgerald
acheva The Great Gatsby (1925), fable sensible et satirique
sur la quête effrénée de la réussite et
l'effondrement du rêve américain. Bien que généralement
considéré comme son chef-d'œuvre, The Great
Gatsby se vendit mal, ce qui contribua à accélérer
la ruine de sa vie personnelle. Zelda sombrait dans la folie (elle
fut hospitalisée plusieurs fois de 1930 à sa mort en
1948) et lui dans l'alcoolisme. Il n'en continua pas moins d'écrire,
essentiellement pour des magazines. Ce n'est qu'en 1934 que parut
son quatrième roman Tender Is the Night, l'histoire
à peine voilée, presque la confession, de sa vie avec
Zelda. L'accueil très froid qui lui fut réservé
accéléra la déchéance de Fitzgerald, déchéance
qu'il décrivit lui-même dans The Crack-Up (1945).
Fitzgerald, partiellement remis, devint scénariste à
Hollywood en 1937, une expérience qui lui inspira son dernier
roman, l'un des plus aboutis, The Last Tycoon (1941). Devant
l'éclat et l'intelligence de ce livre, pourtant inachevé
à la mort de Fitzgerald la nuit du 20 au 21 décembre
1940, les critiques révisèrent leur jugement à
l'encontre de son auteur, reconnu aujourd'hui comme l'un des plus
brillants écrivains américains du XXème siècle.
Other works of Fitzgerald:
Short stories. Flappers and Philosophers (1920); Tales
of the Jazz Age (1922); All the Sad Young Men (1926),
includes "The Rich Boy" and "Absolution"; Taps at Reveille
(1935). Letters. Letters (1963).
Beautiful and Damned — Flappers
and Philosophers (1920) — The
of the Jazz Age (1922) — Tender
is the Night — This
Side of Paradise
1933 Knud Rasmussen, explorador danés.
1939 Day 22 of Winter War: USSR aggression against
Finland. [Talvisodan 22. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin celebrates his 60th birthday today.
He will not get any part of Finland as a birthday present.
Terijoki: in honor of Stalin's birthday, Otto Wille Kuusinen's
'Finnish People's Government' holds a meeting and a parade of the
'Finnish People's Army'. The meeting sends a telegram congratulating
Stalin on his birthday. At the same time, enemy aircraft bomb two
passenger trains in southern Finland.
Southern Finland: enemy fighters strafe a stationary train on
the edge of the forest between Helsinki and Turku for 15 minutes,
killing three civilians.
Ladoga Karelia: Finnish troops in the Tolvajärvi sector launch
an assault in the evening to retake the village of Ägläjärvi.
The determined assaults by the Finnish strike force of five battalions
overcome the main force of the Russian division.
Civil defense officials point out that lighting restrictions also
apply to Christmas lights. This means, for example, that candles
must not be placed beside graves this year, and outdoor Christmas
trees must not be illuminated. People should also remember to stay
off the streets during air-raid warnings.
Henry Herbert La Thangue, English painter born on born on 19 January
LA THANGUE AT ART 4 DECEMBER with
links to images.
1924 Jean André Rixens, French
artist born on 30 November 1846. — more
with links to images.
1917 Wilhelm Heinrich Trübner,
German artist born on 03 February 1851.
Gordan, 75, mathematician.
1894 Ramón Martí y Alsina,
Spanish artist born in 1826.
1879 William Jamps Shayer Sr.,
British artist born in 1788. — a bit more
with link to an image.
1871 Paul Camille Guigou,
French painter born on 15 February 1834. — more
with link to an image.
1838 Jan Christianus Schotel, Dutch painter born on 11
November 1787. — more
1866 Fetterman and 80 US soldiers,
in rare Amerindian victory.
Determined to challenge the growing American military presence in
their territory, Indians in northern Wyoming lure Lieutenant Colonel
William J. Fetterman and his soldiers into a deadly ambush on this
day in 1866. Tensions in the region started rising in 1863, when John
Bozeman blazed the Bozeman Trail, a new route for emigrants traveling
to the Montana gold fields. Bozeman's trail was of questionable legality
since it passed directly through hunting grounds that the government
had promised to the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe in the Fort Laramie
Treaty of 1851. Thus when Colorado militiamen murdered more than two
hundred peaceful Cheyenne during the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864,
the Indians began to take revenge by attacking whites all across the
Plains, including the emigrants traveling the Bozeman Trail. The US
government responded by building a series of protective forts along
the trail; the largest and most important of these was Fort Phil Kearney,
erected in 1866 in north-central Wyoming.
Indians under the leadership of Red Cloud and Crazy Horse began to
focus their attacks on Fort Phil Kearney, constantly harassing the
soldiers and raiding their wood and supply parties. On December 6,
1866, Crazy Horse discovered to his surprise that he could lead a
small detachment of soldiers into a fatal ambush by dismounting from
his horse and fleeing as if he were defenseless. Struck by the foolish
impulsiveness of the soldiers, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud reasoned
that perhaps a much larger force could be lured into a similar deadly
On the bitterly
cold morning of December 21, about 2000 Indians concealed themselves
along the road just north of Fort Phil Kearney. A small band made
a diversionary attack on a party of woodcutters from the fort, and
commandant Colonel Henry Carrington quickly ordered Colonel Fetterman
to go to their aid with a company of 80 troopers. Crazy Horse and
10 decoy warriors then rode into view of the fort. When Carrington
fired an artillery round at them, the decoys ran away as if frightened.
The party of woodcutters made it safely back to the fort, but Colonel
Fetterman and his men chased after the fleeing Crazy Horse and his
decoys, just as planned. The soldiers rode straight into the ambush
and were wiped out in a massive attack during which some 40,000 arrows
rained down on the hapless troopers. None of them survived.
With 81 fatalities, the so-called Fetterman
Massacre was the army's worst defeat in the West until the Battle
of Little Bighorn in 1876. Further Indian attacks eventually forced
the army to reconsider its commitment to protecting the Bozeman Trail,
and in 1868 the military abandoned the forts and pulled out. It was
one of only a handful of clear Indian victories in the Plains Indian
On 14 May 1861 William
Fetterman joins the US Army William Fetterman, who will later lead
80 of his soldiers to their deaths at the hands of the Sioux, joins
the Union Army. By all accounts, Fetterman was a born fighting man.
During the Civil War he served with distinction and received at least
two battlefield promotions in recognition of his gallantry. Like his
better-known comrade George Custer, Fetterman emerged from the Civil
War with an unwavering confidence in himself and his military abilities.
Moreover, like Custer, his overconfidence eventually proved to be
his undoing. After the Civil War, Fetterman was assigned to Fort Phil
Kearny in northern Wyoming. Phil Kearny was the most important of
a series of forts that the US Army constructed to defend the Bozeman
Trail, a wagon road that branched northwest from the Oregon Trail
to the gold fields of Virginia City, Montana. The route violated Sioux
hunting grounds, and Sioux warriors under Chief Red Cloud attacked
travelers and soldiers alike in protest. Fort Phil Kearny was an impressive
compound nearly the size of three football fields. The tall wooden
stockade around the fort made it nearly impregnable to Indian attack,
but the stockade also proved to be the fort's Achilles' heel. In order
to maintain the 2800-foot wooden stockade and provide firewood for
the bitter Wyoming winters, soldiers traveled several miles from the
fort to reach the nearest forests. Frequently, small bands of Sioux
attacked the group of soldiers assigned to the "wood train," though
casualties had not yet been severe. When attacked, the soldiers quickly
took up a strong defensive position behind their circled wagons. The
sound of shots alerted the fort of an attack, and the Sioux fled as
soon as rescue squads arrived. Soon after Captain Fetterman arrived
at the fort in November 1866, he began to argue for troops to pursue
and wipe out the Indians who attacked the wood trains. Though he had
no significant experience fighting Indians, he regarded them as contemptuous
cowards who would be no match for well-trained American troops. He
often boasted that with 80 men he could travel through the heart of
the Sioux Nation with impunity. Fetterman began openly ridiculing
the commander of the fort, Colonel Henry Carrington, for failing to
chase down and destroy the Sioux. Carrington, however, had come to
suspect the Sioux attacks were only feints designed to lure the larger
rescue squad into an ambush and he forbade his officers to pursue
the fleeing Indians. Impetuous and overconfident, Fetterman dismissed
Carrington's fears. On December 21, 1866, a small band of Indians
again attacked the wood train. Carrington ordered Fetterman and 80
soldiers to its relief, but historians dispute whether Carrington
explicitly ordered Fetterman not to pursue the Indians that day. Fetterman
and his men chased after the Indians, failing to notice that they
seemed to be fleeing with a deliberate slowness. The decoys-one of
whom was a young brave named Crazy Horse-led the soldiers straight
into an ambush of almost 2,000 Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe warriors.
Fetterman and all of his soldiers were dead within 40 minutes. The
Fetterman Massacre, as it came to be called, was the worst disaster
suffered by the US Army in the Plains Indian War until the Battle
of Little Big Horn in 1876.
1822 José Francisco Ortiz Sanz, escritor y religioso
1781 Gregorio Mayáns y Siscar,
1693 Hendrik Mommers, Dutch
artist born in 1623.
1579 Juan “de Juanes” Maçip (or Masip),
Spanish artist born in 1510. — more
with links to images.
1597 Peter Canisius, an energetic Dutch
Jesuit who established the Catholic counter-reformation in Germany
Né en 1521,
fils de Jakob Kanis, bourgmestre de Nimègue, Pierre eut une
jeunesse pieuse. En 1536, il vint à Cologne pour étudier
le droit, mais il s’appliqua aussi à la théologie
et à la spiritualité. Ami des chartreux et des spirituels
rhénans, il fut subjugué par Pierre Fabre, un des premiers
compagnons de saint Ignace de Loyola et entra dans la toute jeune
Compagnie de Jésus le 8 mai 1543. Diacre en 1544, prêtre
en 1546, il continua ses travaux d’édition en publiant
saint Cyrille d’Alexandrie et saint Léon le Grand.
L’archevêque de Cologne,
favorable aux protestants, tenta d’éloigner Canisius.
Celui-ci plaida si bien sa cause auprès de Charles Quint que
l’archevêque fut déposé. En 1547, l’évêque
d’Augsbourg emmena Canisius comme théologien au concile
de Trente. Le concile fut bientôt interrompu, saint Ignace appela
son disciple à Rome et l’envoya en Sicile. Dès
1549, Canisius en revint, devenant docteur en théologie à
son passage à Bologne.
Il commença par organiser l’université d’Ingolstadt,
puis il entreprit dans tous les pays germaniques le redressement du
catholicisme, par la prédication, la diffusion des livres théologiques,
le catéchisme et par l’action auprès des papes,
des évêques et des princes. Il joua aussi un rôle
actif dans l’heureuse conclusion du concile de Trente.
de Pierre Canisius est importante et elle connut un succès
considérable et durable. Après avoir présenté
l’essentiel de la religion dans une " Summa doctrinae " , il
la résuma dans des catéchismes qui eurent un tel succès
que, durant trois siècles, on employa en allemand le mot "
Kanisi " pour désigner un catéchisme. Il défendit
le culte de la Vierge.
Pierre Canisius fut envoyé à Fribourg en Suisse. Il
recueillit l’histoire des saints du pays et entretint des correspondances
avec de multiples personnes. Il y mourut le 21 décembre 1597.
Béatifié en 1864, Pierre Canisius fut proclamé
saint et docteur de l’Église en 1925. Sa fête,
placée alors au 27 avril, a été ramenée
au 21 décembre lors de l’établissement du nouveau
1375 Giovanni Boccaccio, 62, author.
was probably in the years 1348-53 that Boccaccio composed the Decameron
in the form in which it is read today. In the broad sweep of its range
and its alternately tragic and comic views of life, it is rightly
regarded as his masterpiece. Stylistically, it is the most perfect
example of Italian classical prose, and its influence on Renaissance
literature throughout Europe was enormous.
The Decameron begins with the flight of 10 young people (7 women and
3 men) from plague-stricken Florence in 1348. They retire to a rich,
well-watered countryside, where, in the course of a fortnight, each
member of the party has a turn as king or queen over the others, deciding
in detail how their day shall be spent and directing their leisurely
walks, their outdoor conversations, their dances and songs, and, above
all, their alternate storytelling. This storytelling occupies 10 days
of the fortnight (the rest being set aside for personal adornment
or for religious devotions); hence the title of the book itself, Decameron,
or "Ten Days' Work. The stories thus amount to 100 in all. Each
of the days, moreover, ends with a canzone (song) for dancing sung
by one of the storytellers, and these canzoni include some of Boccaccio's
finest lyric poetry. In addition to the 100 stories, Boccaccio has
a master theme, namely, the way of life of the refined bourgeoisie,
who combined respect for conventions with an open-minded attitude
to personal behaviour.
tones of the opening passages of the book, in which the plague and
the moral and social chaos that accompanies it are described in the
grand manner, are in sharp contrast to the scintillating liveliness
of Day I, which is spent almost entirely in witty disputation, and
to the playful atmosphere of intrigue that characterizes the tales
of adventure or deception related on Days II and III. With Day IV
and its stories of unhappy love, the gloomy note returns; but Day
V brings some relief, though it does not entirely dissipate the echo
of solemnity, by giving happy endings to stories of love that does
not at first run smoothly. Day VI reintroduces the gaiety of Day I
and constitutes the overture to the great comic score, Days VII, VIII,
and IX, which are given over to laughter, trickery, and license. Finally,
in Day X, all the themes of the preceding days are brought to a high
pitch, the impure made pure and the common made heroic.
The prefaces to the days and to the individual stories and certain
passages of especial magnificence based on classical models, with
their select vocabulary and elaborate periods, have long held the
attention of critics. But there is also another Boccaccio: the master
of the spoken word and of the swift, vivid, tense narrative free from
the proliferation of ornament. These two aspects of the Decameron
made it the fountainhead of Italian literary prose for the following
The influential 19th-century
critic Francesco De Sanctis regarded the Decameron as a "Human Comedy"
in succession to Dante's Divine Comedy and Boccaccio as the pioneer
of a new moral order superseding that of the European Middle Ages.
This view is no longer tenable, however, since the Middle Ages can
no longer be presented as having been wholly ascetic or wholly concerned
with God and heavenly salvation in contrast with a Renaissance concerned
only with the human.
particular, the whole corpus of Boccaccio's work is basically medieval
in subject matter, form, and taste, at least in its point of departure.
It is the spirit in which Boccaccio treats his subjects and his forms
that is new. For the first time in the Middle Ages, Boccaccio in the
Decameron deliberately shows man striving with fortune and learning
to overcome it. To be truly noble, according to the Decameron, man
must accept life as it is, without bitterness, must accept, above
all, the consequences of his own action, however contrary to his expectation
or even tragic they may be. To realize his own earthly happiness,
he must confine his desire to what is humanly possible and renounce
the absolute without regret. Thus Boccaccio insists both on man's
powers and on their inescapable limitations, without reference to
the possible intervention of divine grace. A sense of spiritual realities
and an affirmation of moral values underlying the frivolity even in
the most licentious passages of the Decameron are features of Boccaccio's
work that modern criticism has brought to light and that make it no
longer possible to regard him only as an obscene mocker or sensual
Il semblerait que Boccace, de
son vrai nom Giovanni Boccacio soit né à Paris, fruit
d'une union illégitime entre son père, un marchand florentin,
et une femme de la noblesse française. Élevé
à Florence, il fut envoyé à Naples vers 1323
pour y suivre des études de comptabilité qu'il abandonna
au profit du droit canon, des études classiques et scientifiques.
Il trouva sa place dans la cour de Robert d'Anjou, roi de Naples,
et il semble même qu'il eut pour maîtresse la fille illégitime
de ce roi, Maria de Conti d'Aquino, peut-être la fameuse Fiammetta
qui revient si fréquemment dans l'œuvre de Boccace.
En 1340, il retourna à Florence
où il fut chargé de plusieurs missions diplomatiques
par les autorités de la ville. En 1350, il rencontra le poète
et humaniste Pétrarque avec lequel il entretint une longue
amitié jusqu'à la mort de ce dernier, en 1374.
En 1362, Boccace se rendit à
Naples, sur l'invitation d'un ami qui lui promettait la protection
de Jeanne Ire, alors à la tête du royaume napolitain.
Cependant, l'accueil fut si froid qu'il alla à Venise demander
l'hospitalité à Pétrarque (1363) qui non seulement
l'accueillit mais lui offrit une maison. Boccace refusa avant de rentrer
chez lui, à Certaldo, près de Florence. Au cours des
dernières années de sa vie, il se consacra à
la méditation religieuse et eut la joie de se voir chargé
officiellement de conférences sur Dante (1373). Malheureusement,
la maladie le contraignit à arrêter son activité
en 1374. Il mourut l'année suivante, le 21 Décembre
L'œuvre majeure de
Boccace demeure le " Décaméron " (Il Decamerone) qu'il
commença en 1348 et acheva en 1353. Boccace y évoque
tout d'abord l'histoire de dix amis, sept femmes et trois hommes "de
valeur, bien éduqués et discrets", qui se sont réfugiés
dans une villa de campagne, aux environs de Florence, afin d'échapper
à une épidémie de peste qui sévit en ville.
Pour se distraire tout au long des dix jours de leur retraite, ils
se racontent des histoires à tour de rôle : ces histoires
constituent les fameuses cent nouvelles pleines d'esprit, contées
dans l'ouvrage. À chaque fin de journée, l'un des dix
protagonistes chante une canzone et, lorsque s'achève la centième
histoire, les amis rentrent chez eux.
Le Décaméron est l'une des plus belles manifestations
de la Renaissance italienne, en littérature. Sans même
parler des canzoni, avec lesquelles Boccace atteint le sommet de son
art, les histoires qui le composent sont aussi variées que
riches et le ton employé passe avec finesse de la solennité
à l'humour truculent. La maîtrise de l'écriture
est parfaite et l'étude des personnages dénote une grande
cette œuvre, Boccace s'est inspiré à la fois des
fabliaux français, des textes de l'Antiquité grecque
et romaine, du folklore et de sa propre observation de la vie italienne.
Le Décaméron rompt avec la tradition littéraire
en ce sens où, pour la première fois au Moyen Âge,
l'homme est présenté non plus comme totalement dépendant
de la volonté divine mais comme le maître de sa destinée.
Giovanni Boccaccio nacque nel
1313 (giugno o luglio) in Toscana (forse a Certaldo o a Firenze: oggi
non si ritiene più attendibile la notizia di una sua nascita
Era figlio "naturale"
(nato cioè al di fuori del matrimonio) di un mercante, Boccaccio
di Chellino, e di una donna di cui non si sa il nome: ma venne riconosciuto
e legittimato dal padre, e visse in famiglia con pari diritti rispetto
Dopo i primi studi
a Firenze, nel 1327 venne mandato dal padre a Napoli prima a far pratica
mercantile, poi, vista la sua svogliata applicazione a questa attività,
a studiare diritto canonico.
In quegli anni Giovanni studiò i classici latini, e la letteratura
cortese francese e italiana, e scrisse le sue prime opere: Filocolo
(1336-38), Filostrato (1335), Teseida (1339-41), Caccia di Diana (1334/38
) e le Rime (la cui composizione rimanda ad anni diversi). Ebbe anche
presumibilmente relazioni amorose, che più tardi esprime, secondo
un costume stilnovistico, nella figura di Fiammetta, identificata
un tempo con una Maria figlia naturale (anche lei!) di re Roberto
d'Angiò e maritata nella casa dei conti d'Aquino: la consistenza
storica di questa donna è però oggi largamente messa
in dubbio dagli studiosi.
1341 dovette tornare a Firenze dal padre il quale aveva difficoltà
economiche a causa del fallimento della banca di Bardi. Comporrà
nuove opere poetiche e narrative: Ninfale d'Ameto o Commedia delle
Ninfe fiorentine (1341-42), Elegia di madonna Fiammetta (1343-44),
Ninfale fiesolano (1344-46). Boccaccio frequenta le corti della Romagna
(Ravenna, Forlì) in cerca di un impiego.
Nel 1348 è di nuovo a Firenze, dove assiste alla peste e dopo
la morte del padre (1350?) vi rimase per amministrare lo scarso patrimonio.
Cominciò a partecipare in vario modo alla vita pubblica e culturale
della sua città, e gli furono affidati uffici e ambascerie.
Nel frattempo andava componendo quella che noi consideriamo la sua
opera maggiore, il Decameron, terminato nel 1351.
Negli ultimi anni si stringe il rapporto di amicizia con Francesco
Petrarca, il "glorioso maestro" che lo aveva persuaso a dirigere la
mente verso le cose eterne lasciando da parte il diletto di quelle
temporali. clic sull'immagine per un ingrandimento
Il Petrarca lo aiutò a superare una crisi religiosa, indirizzando
l'attività del Boccaccio verso la cultura letteraria di tipo
"umanistico": le opere tarde del Boccaccio saranno in latino, e fra
queste va citata la "Genealogia deorum gentilium", un grande trattato
di mitologia greco-romana, che per due o tre secoli rimase il libro
più consultato su questo argomento.
Negli stessi anni si dedica allo studio dell'opera di Dante, per cui
ebbe un vero e proprio culto: di questa attività resta il "Trattatello
in laude di Dante", e le lezioni con cui commentava pubblicamente
la "Divina" Commedia (è stato il Boccaccio ad usare e ad imporre
nell'uso questo aggettivo). Morì il 21 dicembre 1375.
[< CLICK per un ritratto di Giovanni Boccaccio realizzato
del Castagno (1450)]
La raccolta di novelle è stata
quasi certamente scritta fra il 1349 e il 1353, all'indomani cioè
della terribile pestilenza che dal 1348 devastò l'Europa. Come
dice il titolo grecizzante l'azione si svolge e si chiude nel giro
di dieci giorni. Dopo un "proemio" indirizzato alle "vaghe donne"
che per prova conoscano l'amore, la lunga introduzione alla prima
giornata dà un quadro terrificante dell'atmosfera di orrore
e di morte che circonda Firenze in preda alla peste. Boccaccio immagina
che sette fanciulle e tre giovani uomini si rifugino in una villa
dei vicini colli per sfuggire al contagio e per trascorrere un po'
di tempo allegramente fra amabili conversari, banchetti e danze. Ogni
giorno, tranne il venerdì e il sabato dedicati a pratiche religiose,
i giovani si radunano su un prato, per raccontare novelle, una per
ciascuno; queste si svolgono intorno a un tema prestabilito, proposto
ogni volta dal re o dalla regina eletti quotidianamente dalla compagnia.
Dopo ciascun gruppo di racconti trova posto una "conclusione" suggellata
da una ballata.
Decameron (in Italian and English) _ The
Decameron (in Italian and English, with commentary)
Most Pleasant and Delectable Questions of Love (in English