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Showing posts from October, 2014

Italy: The Birthplace of Modern Fairy Tale Telling, By Christina Ruth Johnson, Vintage Fairy Tale Sleuth

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When we think of countries that are birthplaces of fairy tales, we automatically think of France and Germany--at least, these are the first that come to my mind, thanks mainly to Perrault and the Grimm brothers. We may think of England, too, as the place tales about actual fairies abound. Next, our minds might travel east to Russia or even farther into the lands of the Arabian Nights. Or perhaps we go north to Denmark, remembering Hans Christian Andersen.
One place to which my mind never traveled, until my research took me there, was Italy. I have since learned that traveling to Italy (literarily speaking) is a must for fairy tale lovers!
A most extraordinary collection of tales was published in Italy between 1634 and 1636--written by Giambattista Basile (published posthumously). The original title was Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenemiento de peccerille--“The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones.” The title by which we know the work today, however, is Il Pentamerone