Discuss the theory of Falkentheorie by Paul Heyse

Falkentheorie is a theory of the novella worked out by the German writer Paul Heyse (1830–1914). This theory is based on the ninth tale of the fifth day of Boccaccio’s Decameron (c. 1349-51). It is the story of Federigo who wasted his substance in the fruitless wooing of a rich mistress; wasted it to such an extent that he had only his favourite falcon left. This, too, he sacrificed – and his mistress was so moved by the act that she surrendered. The falcon is thus symbolic and denotes the strongly marked silhouette – as Heyse puts it – which, according to him, distinguishes one novella from another and gives it a unique quality. An interesting but elaborate theory, which is only another way of saying that each story is different from the others.

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