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Italian Folktales (1956)

by Italo Calvino

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,907226,144 (4.1)65
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.
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» See also 65 mentions

English (21)  French (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
These fairy tales were very enjoyable. Not too surprisingly, there was some repetition - different regions of Italy having various versions of basically the same story - but that didn't bother me. It was interesting to see a few tales that were clearly variations of Homer! ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 31, 2020 |
While I understand that there are many different versions of various folktales out there, it would have been nice to know in advance that I would be reading basically the same 10 tales over and over again, with slight variations. ( )
  allyofthedawn | Feb 12, 2020 |
Fairy tales and folktales have a charm that is not limited to one singular culture. With Italian Folktales, Italo Calvino brings us a series of stories with a decidedly Italian flavor, 200 of them in fact. A lot of the folktales are familiar to me or have stories that transcend cultural barriers. For example, one of the stories is called Silver Nose. It is remarkably similar to the story of Bluebeard. Another familiar story is the one called The Land Where One Never Dies. It is similar to the Japanese tale of Urashima Taro, the one about a fisherman that goes to the Undersea Palace of the Sea King and passes 300 years in a heartbeat.

So in this world of fairy tales, we find giants, witches, Kings, Princes, Princesses, Queens, evil stepmothers, fairies, and more. We find people that go through a quick arc, villagers and peasants that have to accomplish remarkable tasks, and other such amazing things. Each tale has a postscript telling you, the reader, where this particular story came from. Calvino went to great lengths to gather these stories for your entertainment and it never lets you down. Since they are fairy tales it really depends on the idea behind the story concerning the endings. Sometimes it ends happily, and other times it ends with the main character meeting death.

The book is really enjoyable. None of the stories feel totally new to me, but this is not a bad thing. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Sep 19, 2019 |
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  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
Does just what it says on the tin: a collection of folktales from Italy. Fun, if you like that sort of thing (and I do). ( )
  electrascaife | Nov 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Calvino, Italoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
DuBois, GérardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fili, LouiseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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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
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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