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Book Title: Stories from the Pentameron|
The author of the book: Giambattista Basile
Date of issue: October 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9781406500318
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.74 MB
Edition: Dodo Press
Read full description of the books Stories from the Pentameron:A Great collection of fairy tales, made great mainly by the style. It has the kind of far out fantastic elements that lingered from folk traditions going back to the middle ages, the sort of thing where a magic box or fairy can do absolutely anything instantly and miraculously, like a genie's lamp or a Holy Grail, and most problems are solved by magical intervention.
If you were to look at the book in terms of ideology, you might be mortified. If the book has an ideology it could be expressed as:
-Good people are beautiful.
-Ugly people are wicked.
-Being black is ugly, and that in itself justifies slavery.
-Good people will be magically rewarded, and wicked people will be justly punished, usually by physical dismemberment or very violent and painful death... thank god!
But it's not a book of ideology. It's fairy tales, wittily told, with an overabundance of metaphor, pushed to an extreme. It's entertaining for adults, and has a great cultural character as entertainment.
Some of the stories, as stories, are hardly worth talking about for their plots. Yet they're great experiences, driven by plot (there's an irony).
Better, in my estimation, than the forms of the same tales as they reemerged through Grimm into the popular imagination. I never in my life could have enjoyed "Puss in Boots," nor could I understand why anyone would ever care about that rotten tale, not even why toddlers would like it. But the story that inspired it, as told by Basile, is quite entertaining and goes beyond my expectation. I felt the same way about the stories that inspired Cinderella and Rapunzel, which in their modern forms are entirely without interest. Perhaps I just like the primitive and raw origins of folk literature, when dressed up by a crudely witty narrator.
This is a strong recommendation, even if it doesn't sound like one!
Read information about the authorBorn to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was, during his career, a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in 1575, while other sources have February 1566. In Venice he began to write poetry. Later he returned to Naples to serve as a courtier under the patronage of Don Marino II Caracciolo, prince of Avellino, to whom he dedicated his idyll L’Aretusa (1618). By the time of his death he had reached the rank of "count" Conte di Torrone.
Basile's earliest known literary production is from 1604 in the form of a preface to the Vaiasseide of his friend the Neapolitan writer Giulio Cesare Cortese. The following year his villanella Smorza crudel amore was set to music and in 1608 he publish his poem Il Pianto della Vergine.
He is chiefly remembered for writing the collection of Neapolitan fairy tales titled Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenemiento de peccerille (Neapolitan for The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones), also known as Il Pentamerone published posthumously in two volumes by his sister Adriana in Naples, Italy in 1634 and 1636 under the pseudonym Gian Alesio Abbatutis. It later became known as the Pentamerone. Although neglected for some time, the work received a great deal of attention after the Brothers Grimm praised it highly as the first national collection of fairy tales. Many of these fairy tales are the oldest known variants in existence. They include the earliest known versions of "Rapunzel" and "Cinderella".
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