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Ten Italian Folktales

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An excerpt of ten stories from Italian Folktales.


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An excerpt of ten stories from Italian Folktales.

30 review for Ten Italian Folktales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    I'm thinking some of the problems I had with this (mercifully) slim volume may be the translation. In particular, some of the early stories veer from Ye Olde English to quite modern idiom. However, A few of the stories are similar, some end quite abruptly. I enjoyed The Sleeping Queen and Misfortune enough to pull my rating up to 3★ but Penguin published better books in their Penguin 60s series. I'm thinking some of the problems I had with this (mercifully) slim volume may be the translation. In particular, some of the early stories veer from Ye Olde English to quite modern idiom. However, A few of the stories are similar, some end quite abruptly. I enjoyed The Sleeping Queen and Misfortune enough to pull my rating up to 3★ but Penguin published better books in their Penguin 60s series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    For the moment, just John Turturro reading the Animated Fairy Tale, “The False Grandmother”, which you can watch here. Recommended, and a hattip to Open Culture. For the moment, just John Turturro reading the Animated Fairy Tale, “The False Grandmother”, which you can watch here. Recommended, and a hattip to Open Culture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    I first read this very slim book more than twenty years ago. I enjoyed it but didn't think it was anything special. Calvino is my favourite author, of course, but that doesn't mean that everything he produced was sublime. However, I have now re-read this book and I enjoyed it a lot, certainly more than the first time. The curious thing is that I remembered almost nothing about any of the stories. About the only thing I recalled was that Death in the final story was female. Amazing how a book can I first read this very slim book more than twenty years ago. I enjoyed it but didn't think it was anything special. Calvino is my favourite author, of course, but that doesn't mean that everything he produced was sublime. However, I have now re-read this book and I enjoyed it a lot, certainly more than the first time. The curious thing is that I remembered almost nothing about any of the stories. About the only thing I recalled was that Death in the final story was female. Amazing how a book can slip out of the mind so thoroughly! It was as if I was reading these stories for the very first time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This is my 4th Italo Calvino (1923-1985) book and he is still to disappoint. According to Wiki, Calvino was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Maybe he did not win the Nobel because his writings, the 3 books of him that I’ve read, have no political undertones. This book, Ten Italian Folktales was included in penguin 60s, 60 small books that were published by Penguin Group on the occasion of their 60th This is my 4th Italo Calvino (1923-1985) book and he is still to disappoint. According to Wiki, Calvino was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Maybe he did not win the Nobel because his writings, the 3 books of him that I’ve read, have no political undertones. This book, Ten Italian Folktales was included in penguin 60s, 60 small books that were published by Penguin Group on the occasion of their 60th anniversary in 1995. The ten folktales were taken from Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales published in 1954 when he was commissioned by Giulo Einaudi on the basis of the question, “Is there an Italian equivalent of the Brothers Grimm?” For two years, Calvino collated tales found in 19th century collections across Italy then translated 200 of the finest from various dialects into Italian. Key works he read at this time were Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale and Historical Roots of Russian Fairy Tales, stimulating his own ideas on the origin, shape and function of the story. So, these were not his folktales but since he was the one who chose the stories, I thought his taste was reflected on them. I am still to read the complete Brothers Grimm but have of course, as a child, heard some of them and could not recall any similarities between these ten to any of Brothers Grimm’s. So, I guess, Calvino also tried to achieve some originality since his objective was to come up with something Italians could call their own. Crack and Crook. Two thieves who are so good they can think ahead of the king who wants them caught. Their cleverness leads to the king’s forgiveness for their crime. Clever thieves especially Crack. 3 STARS The Land Where One Never Dies. A young man gets tired of death and asks around which way he should go to find the land where one never dies. The people he meets going to the land are also the people he meets going back. Quite difficult to believe and not sure that the point is. 2 STARS Pome and Peel. A lady and her mistress are having difficulty getting pregnant. A wizard tells them to eat apples. They get pregnant and each gets a son: Pome and Peel. The two become friends and the king takes them both as his sons. The two fall in love with the same young girl but the father of the girl gets angry so he curses his daughter. While the curse is being spoken, three witches are listening. This is a very entertaining tale. Two boys sleeping with a girl so there is something in between and I did not expect old Italian tales to have this sexual undertone. Naughty Mr. Calvino! 4 STARS The Sleeping Queen. Three brothers are sent by the king to find the cure for his ailment. The first two go but are both distracted by pretty sisters they meet along the way. The two get married and forget about the purpose of their trips. Only the youngest succeeds but the honor is grabbed by his older brothers. I thought I have read something like this plot already but the twist in the end was different and that made this story still fresh and entertaining. 3 STARS The Enchanted Palace Bookworm Fiordinando is the only son of the king. He does not want to go out because he only wants to read books in his room. One day, a hunter arrives and he perks up Fiordinando’s interest on hunting but he does not tell his father. Since it is his first time, he is about to go back to the palace empty-handed until he sees a hare and the hare leads him to an enchanted land. This has similarities to Alice in the Wonderland because of the hare but what happens in the enchanted land is altogether different. 3 STARS The King of Portugal’s Son. The king’s son falls in love and marries an ordinary worker’s daughter. It is a mismatched so the king asks his son and his daughter-in-law to leave the palace. Now bereft of riches, the only thing that’s left with him is his mother’s diamond ring. One day, he is washing near the fountain, the ring is taken by a bird and so he follows the bird until he gets into a strange land. Again, similar to the other stories but what happens next is very different. The young wife and her mistress appear towards the end of the story and the twist is something that I have not read anywhere until now. 3 STARS Apple Girl. The queen is having difficulty getting pregnant so the king is losing hope. Until a wizard tells her to eat an apple. So, the queen gets pregnant but what comes out from her womb is… an apple! But the apple turns into a beautiful maiden only to take a bath and comb his hair at a certain time of the day. Very entertaining! I don’t want to spoil your fun so I will stop at that. 5 STARS Joseph Ciufolo, Tiller-Fluist.Farmer Joseph, a young man, plays the flute while he tills the soil. His father has no love for him so he asks him to go. One day he sees a dead man on the field and he takes care of the corpse by putting boughs of green so that the flies would not feast its decaying flesh. Good moral lesson but so short to really make an impact. 2 STARS Misfortune. The king and queen have 7 daughters. The king declares war in a neighboring kingdom but he lost it. The queen and her daughter leave the palace and the queen sells all their jewelry to support the seven girls. One day, a beggar woman tells the queen that she will be able to get back her husband’s riches if she gets rid of the youngest of his daughter whose name is Misfortune. Very good storytelling. The turning of the table from being misfortune to fortune is something that would make you cheer on and inspire you to always be hopeful. I read this during the height of the flooding herein Metro Manila and it lifted my gloomy feeling last Wednesday morning. 4 STARS Jump into My Sack. The farmer father has 12 sons. Famine strikes and one day he says to his sons that he has nothing to feed them anymore so he tells them to leave. However, the youngest is a cripple so he asks where will he go. The father answers: go with your brother because what they’ll eat, they will give you. However, the 11 brothers get annoyed because their youngest brother is slowing them down in their journey. So, they abandon him along the road with the hope that a good man will take pity and take care of him. Well told. The best in this collection. Similar to the story of Joseph and his brothers in the Old Testament but is freshly-told thus more entertaining. 5 STARS I am not sure if we here in the Philippines have an equivalent of Brothers Grimm. Hmmm. Not a bad idea to have one, right? But I have to read Brothers Grimm first.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daren

    Ten short stories published as a Penguin 60, taken from the larger collection of folk tales by the same author. These were easy reading, but somewhat predictable and a number of these stories followed the same pattern [poor character in a situation where they are disadvantaged: something semi-magical happens: character gains wealth, nobility and usually a princess. The Italian Brothers Grimm, but less gritty, less dark. Very pro-royals - many kings, princes and princesses. For me the stories range Ten short stories published as a Penguin 60, taken from the larger collection of folk tales by the same author. These were easy reading, but somewhat predictable and a number of these stories followed the same pattern [poor character in a situation where they are disadvantaged: something semi-magical happens: character gains wealth, nobility and usually a princess. The Italian Brothers Grimm, but less gritty, less dark. Very pro-royals - many kings, princes and princesses. For me the stories range from 2* to 4*, but overall, I wouldn't go above 3*.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Ten Italian Folktales is a collection of short fairy tale stories. They are sweet and at times magical. Some were better than others and some had questionable content. But, overall a quick read with some lovely little stories.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mateusz Józef

    oft predictable but the plots are cheeky and the characters amusing

  8. 4 out of 5

    Coenraad

    This is a lovely sample of Calvino's recording of Italian folktales. It contains many familiar tropes, but in new contexts. Some tales are built on dreamlike lack of logic, others contain magic, all of them are entrancing. 'n Boeiende keuse uit Calvino se optekening van Italiaanse volksverhale: lig en vermaaklik, al is almal nie vrolik nie. Bekende volksverhaalelemente kom voor, wat die universaliteit van storievertel beklemtoon. This is a lovely sample of Calvino's recording of Italian folktales. It contains many familiar tropes, but in new contexts. Some tales are built on dreamlike lack of logic, others contain magic, all of them are entrancing. 'n Boeiende keuse uit Calvino se optekening van Italiaanse volksverhale: lig en vermaaklik, al is almal nie vrolik nie. Bekende volksverhaalelemente kom voor, wat die universaliteit van storievertel beklemtoon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    There were some bizarre but really interesting tales in here. Good for inspiration.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angus

    .

  11. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    Excellent ...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Velvetink

    *note to self. Copy from A.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke William

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alana

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Lindsay

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Rippon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Helen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shreya

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Bentley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cillian Flood

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katrine Engelhardt Thomsen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Constantijn

  26. 4 out of 5

    Capn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark Papa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Georges Martins

  29. 4 out of 5

    isabella

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ewen Frazer

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