Italian Folktales

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980 - Fiction - 763 pages
64 Reviews
Who but Italo Calvino could have selected two hundred of Italy's traditional folktales and retold them so wondrously? The reader is lured into a world of clearly Italian stamp, where kings and peasants, saints and ogres - along with an array of the most extraordinary plants and animals - disport themselves against the rich background of regional customs and history. Whether the tone is humorous and earthy, playful and nonsensical, or noble and mysterious, the drama unfolds strictly according to the joyous logic of the imagination.

Chosen one of the "New York Times's" ten best books in the year of its original publication, "Italian Folktales" immediately won a cherished place among lovers of the tale and vaulted Calvino into the ranks of the great folklorists like the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. In this collection Calvino combines a sensibility attuned to the fantastical with a singular writerly ability to capture the visions and dreams of a people.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
28
4 stars
18
3 stars
17
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Useful reference material. - Goodreads
Folk tales are 33% plot, 33% conflict, and 33% theme. - Goodreads
What a great selection of tales! - Goodreads
great storytelling, mythic, yet immediate. - Goodreads
To be admired for the approach and scholarship. - Goodreads

Review: Italian Folktales

User Review  - Shaiya - Goodreads

I read this book aloud to my 6 year old (now 7) daughter over a period of 4 months. We looked forward to each tale discerning the structural patterns of many of the tales. The book unleashed my ... Read full review

Review: Italian Folktales

User Review  - Jeremy - Goodreads

Oh this was excellent! Little poems at the end of stories, oddball twists, a few reoccuring characters and stories where all the characters are named King. A fast read and lots of silly fun ôSo they ... Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1980)

Italo Calvino 1923-1984 Novelist and short story writer Italo Calvino was born in Cuba on October 15, 1923, and grew up in Italy, graduating from the University of Turin in 1947. He is remembered for his distinctive style of fables. Much of his first work was political, including Il Sentiero dei Nidi di Ragno (The Path of the Nest Spiders, 1947), considered one of the main novels of neorealism. In the 1950s, Calvino began to explore fantasy and myth as extensions of realism. Il Visconte Dimezzato (The Cloven Knight, 1952), concerns a knight split in two in combat who continues to live on as two separates, one good and one bad, deprived of the link which made them a moral whole. In Il Barone Rampante (Baron in the Trees, 1957), a boy takes to the trees to avoid eating snail soup and lives an entire, fulfilled life without ever coming back down. Calvino was awarded an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1984 and died in 1985, following a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of his death, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer and a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Martin attended the Kansas City Art Institute, receiving a B.F.A. with a major in Oil Painting in 1975.

Bibliographic information