Most traditional stories were past down from generation to generation in an oral tradition which made for well paced and entertaining stories Sadly they are often retold in the hands of someone with a pace that is comparable to a three legged horse in a race, and sadly not as entertaining I know some of you are thinking I m awful for that right now and are taking a moment to think the worst of me Thankfully, Italo Calvino lent his hand to the collecting and retelling of Italian folktales and so all the stories in this book have his excellent gift for entertaining telling This helps at times where the stories run the risk of sounding otherwise repetitive, which happens often in folktales Most often collections of folk tales are either slim volumes of a few stories that have been continuously recycled or you have to buy several books in a series to obtain the complete collection by a certain editor This book weighs in at 800 pages and so you can sit rooted in the same spot for days while reading all of the stories I don t actually recommend doing that Here is how I propose you read stories from the book Prepare a pot of whatever warm beverage tickles your fancy, this can be anything from mulled cider to tea to coffee , find the most comfortable place in the house, if you are pet owner this will be the place that your cat or dog is likely already occupying in this case you must displace them , make sure that the only noise that may disrupt you is from the local wildlife outside your window, if you have other people to read with or to gather them as well only make sure they don t take your comfy spot, open the book, read the introduction, well being realistic you will nobly try and read it for two sentences, then you will skim for a couple of paragraphs and then you will give up , and begin with the first story It s okay to take the occasional break from reading the tales however I recommend that you do not give it up for than a few minutes at a time If you have your doubts about how good this collection might be I ll have you know that this book is so well liked that I have had it stolen from me, twice So please go out and invest the money into your own copy of the book and leave mine to my bookshelf As a tiny child, I read this an enormous number of times I remember bringing it in to my kindergarten class to show to my teacher who, certainly, had doubts that I d actually read it Psh Yes I am hugely pretentious Regardless I ve read bits and pieces of it again and again over the years, and it remains one of the most delightful books I know There is no reason for this not to be a favorite book for kids it s exciting, full of an enormous number 200 of vivid stories perfect in size for a child s attention span just a few pages each There s also, though, no reason for this not to be a favorite book for adults Each story is a perfect little gem, sometimes dark but never grim or, for that matter, Grimm , sometimes wry and funny but never mean spirited, and on and on and on.I ve started reading these to my days old son, ostensibly for his benefit but really for my own With 200 stories, I figure this should last us until he s 7 months plus, and then I intend to start over again Seriously I can t get enough of these. Chosen As One Of The New York Times S Ten Best Books In The Year Of Its Original Publication, This Collection Immediately Won A Cherished Place Among Lovers Of The Tale And Vaulted Calvino Into The Ranks Of The Great Folklorists Introduction By The Author Illustrations Translated By George Martin A Helen And Kurt Wolff Book Molti re e regineIn a way, I guess I was expecting from the 200 tales in this collection, which Calvino collected from throughout Italia in the 1950s.Many common threads braid these tales A few seem duplicative of others, with minor variations and some mirror prominent tales from Grimms collection I will write down the threads I can recall while I m on my vacation beginning tomorrow Collectively, the list will undoubtedly prove very humorous.I do know a lot now about the common structure of these tales I oughta use my gift for mimicry for entertainment purposes, forming fresh and funny folklore for fun Good times. My mother gave me this book when I was seven years old She got it from a salesman who was smart enough to convince her that the book was perfect for a seven years old, even though it was a book of than a thousand pages, and an expensive one, with an heavy binding that made it difficult for a little boy to handle Well, this was probably the best gift I ever had I read the book countless times, totally fascinated by the weirdness of the characters and by the gruesomeness of the stories, elements that hugely enhanced the sweet flavour of the unavoidable happy endings German and Nordic folktales in comparison were for little kid, I thought back then.It was because of this book that I later fell in love with the magnificent work of Italo Calvino It started my obsession with the structuralist analysis of fairy tales of Vladimir Propp as well, and a passion and respect for folktales still alive after so many years. Wow It s hard to even know where to begin reviewing this collection I started reading it in 2015 for a group read, and finished about a third I set it aside meaning to return to it, but never did At the start of this year, I decided I would read 10 fairy tales from it between every print book I finished And 7 months later, I m finished I enjoyed the process so much I m going to start doing that with another fairy tale collection.And I literally read it to pieces Both the front and back cover have torn off, and now a chunk fell out I m going to have to upgrade to a hardback version These tales are magical If you re someone only familiar with the Grimms, you have to read this Or any fairytale fan needs to read this Or if you think you re not a fairytale fan, then maybe you should read this.So much fun and weirdness. Useful reference material To be admired for the approach and scholarship Otherwise bland. Le fiabe sono il catalogo dei destini che possono darsi a un uomo e una donna I was just taking a little stroll on a rainbow I ll be right down One word reviewCharming Italo Calvino sets out here to salvage the treasure trove of popular wisdom, his inspiration in the monumental works of the likes of Brothers Grimm, Perrault, Andersen or Afanasiev The result is this collection of very Italian and very amusing folklore collected from dusty library shelves by previous ethnographers and polished up by Calvino He adds his personal touch of wry humour and subversive mischief to make the lecture appealing to both children and adults Alternatively, Calvino s style and the Italian cultural identity were born in his early immersion in the oral traditions of Italian storytellingI m not going to review each little tale separately they are quite short and share a lot of common traits, or local colour, that make them encapsulate the true peasant spirit of the peninsula What struck me as I was trying to identify these common traits are the numerous cases of explicit, gleeful violence something that has been purged from the original Grimm or Perrault by the likes of Thomas Bowlder or Walt Disneyand with two well placed blows, killed them all right, then tie me to the stake and burn me in the square That was done, and soon after that the Prince married the beautiful young girl Murders, auto da fes, illicit affairs and others assorted cardinal sins keep cropping up alongside tales clearly inspired from the Catholic church teachings Even often the heroes are either outlaws robbers, criminals, liars or wily peasants running rings around the police or the lordsNow don t tell anyone about this because if the police knew about it they d send both of us to jail Calvino is clearly rooting for the underdog in his selection of folk tales The happy endings, often than not produce not marriage, children and happy ever after , but winning the lottery by nobodies beings smarter and faster on their feet than their bettersThen he returned home and everything he did was successful, so that he soon became rich Some of the tales, especially the ones featuring the popular buffoon named Giufa, can be found in other cultures with very little variation In Romania his name is P cal , in Turkey and other Oriental cultures Nasstratin HogeaWork and Giufa didn t mix After enjoying a late breakfast, he would stroll out into the street and loaf around Nasstratin quoteEat, my little clothes, eat For they have really invited you, not me In the end, this is a very good selection of Italian folklore that is raised to the level of high literature by the master s touch of Italo Calvino. There is an endless fascination to fairy and folk tales As a child, I remember listening to them at my great aunt s knee she was a great storyteller, and often embellished and modified tales, so that cruel and sad parts were left out The same tales were restored to their original form when told by my mother, who was adamant that a child should not be shielded from cruelties and horror Needless to say, I preferred my great aunt.Later on, I came to read and love the Classics Junior series of comics sadly out of print now, alas which introduced me to the Brothers Grimm Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast et al , and I was hooked for life on the magic of fairy tales, and the world of make believe and fantasy My fascination only increased when I discovered that underneath the beauty there lay a morass of dark desires and fears, and these tales are only the tips of the icebergs of darkest human nature.So when I was able to grab Italo Calvino s famous compendium of Italian folktales at relatively reasonable price, I was ecstatic And the famous novelist did not let me down here is a collection, neatly compiled and docketted, of stories collected from all over Italy Calvino provides informative footnotes to all tales, pointing out the similarities, sometimes giving detailed information on the teller mostly old ladies and pointing out the influence of Grimm and the later romantic legends In many an instance, he has combined different versions of the same story adding his own poetic embellishments to create what he deems the best version.It would be a Herculean task to analyse the stories in detail rather, I would like to give general impressions These pagan tales have been Christianised to a certain extent The devil makes frequent appearances, but usually behaves like the inept ogre or giant of the traditional fairy tale than the arch fiend There is especially a Lame Devil who is almost lovable in his bumbling inefficiency Even though God himself does not make an appearance, there are a number of stories where angels and saints play an active part There is a whole cycle of stories with Jesus and Peter playing the roles of the wise master and the foolish disciple Kings and queens are plentiful they can be found in almost all neighbourhoods, living across the street from you And when the poor servant girl is rescued by a prince or king, the kingdom is specifically mentioned i.e King of Portugal , Prince of Spain etc I was surprised to find that the King of India makes his appearance in one story Some of these tales are romances, as pointed out by Calvino for example, the tale of the Slave Mother, kidnapped by Turkish pirates It and the Christian references indicate that the stories have come some way from their pagan origins.A very satisfying read overall Only a word of statutory caution weighing in at seven hundred and fifty plus pages and two hundred stories, this is a ponderous tome, best taken in small doses Reading at a stretch would tire one out and jade the palate due to a surfeit of magic and wizardry.
Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy 1952 1959 , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories 1965 , and the novels Invisible Cities 1972 and If On a Winter s Night a Traveler 1979.His style is not easy to classify much of his writing has an air reminiscent to th
- 800 pages
- Fiabe italiane
- Italo Calvino
- 14 July 2017 Italo Calvino