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Italiaanse Volkssprookjes

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,760 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
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
Paperback, 187 pages
Published 1980 by Het spectrum (first published 1956)
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Melanti You mean Stone Soup?

Here's the wiki entry: There's links to a couple of versions down at the bottom.

I don't…more
You mean Stone Soup?

Here's the wiki entry: There's links to a couple of versions down at the bottom.

I don't think there's a version of that in this book though - I searched the Kindle edition for the word "soup" and none of the results look likely.

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nandakishore Varma
There is an endless fascination to fairy and folk tales. As a child, I remember listening to them at my great-aunt’s knee: she was a great storyteller, and often embellished and modified tales, so that cruel and sad parts were left out. The same tales were restored to their original form when told by my mother, who was adamant that a child should not be shielded from cruelties and horror. Needless to say, I preferred my great-aunt.

Later on, I came to read and love the Classics Junior series of c
May 15, 2011 emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you name it. really.
As a tiny child, I read this an enormous number of times -- I remember bringing it in to my kindergarten class to show to my teacher (who, certainly, had doubts that I'd actually read it. Psh. (Yes. I am hugely pretentious.))

Regardless. I've read bits and pieces of it again and again over the years, and it remains one of the most delightful books I know. There is no reason for this not to be a favorite book for kids -- it's exciting, full of an enormous number (200!) of vivid stories perfect in
Alastair Fontana
My mother gave me this book when I was seven years old. She got it from a salesman who was smart enough to convince her that the book was perfect for a seven years old, even though it was a book of more than a thousand pages, and an expensive one, with an heavy binding that made it difficult for a little boy to handle. Well, this was probably the best gift I ever had. I read the book countless times, totally fascinated by the weirdness of the characters and by the gruesomeness of the stories, el ...more
Scribble Orca
Apr 22, 2013 Scribble Orca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: either Calvino completionists or fiabe italiane fetishists
Useful reference material. To be admired for the approach and scholarship. Otherwise bland.
Oct 22, 2015 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le fiabe sono il catalogo dei destini che possono darsi a un uomo e una donna
Laura Vo
Nov 27, 2007 Laura Vo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Most traditional stories were past down from generation to generation in an oral tradition which made for well paced and entertaining stories. Sadly they are often retold in the hands of someone with a pace that is comparable to a three legged horse in a race, and sadly not as entertaining. (I know some of you are thinking I'm awful for that right now and are taking a moment to think the worst of me.) Thankfully, Italo Calvino lent his hand to the collecting and retelling of Italian folktales an ...more
Mar 25, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish my parents had read this aloud to me when I was little- perhaps one of the best collections of fairy tales I've ever read. Calvino finds a very strong narrative voice while still managing to balance his own typical style and the speaking style of those who told him the stories in the first place.

My favorite is a similar story to little red riding hood except with an ogre...
"Grandmother, what a big neck you have..."
"I've always worn such heavy jeweled necklaces my dear."
"Grandmother, what
Well, Neil Gaiman gave it five stars...

and Wikipedia had this intriguing insight:

"Over a seven-year period, Calvino wrote three realist novels, The White Schooner (1947–1949), Youth in Turin (1950–1951), and The Queen's Necklace (1952–54), but all were deemed defective.[28] During the eighteen months it took to complete I giovani del Po (Youth in Turin), he made an important self-discovery: "I began doing what came most naturally to me – that is, following the memory of the things I had loved b
Sep 21, 2010 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Calvino es un autor que me gusta. Su ensayo de por qué leer a los clásicos brindó siempre geniales discusiones en mis clases. Corazón Jaguar siempre ocupará un lugar especial en mi corazón de alcachofa. Peeeero descubrir esta joya fue extraordinario.

Leerlo con un vaso de leche y galletitas, disfrutar cada una de las historias, volverse niño no preguntar, no decir eso no me lo creo, no cuestionar. Disfrutar solamente todas estas historias de hadas, príncipes, brujas, dragones y magia tanta. Volve
Too many of these stories followed the same pattern: poor character is having a bad time > something semi-magical happens > character gains wealth or nobility.

For a writer with communist sympathies and an anarchist father, Calvino sure seems to (re-)tell a lot of stories that glorify kings, marriage, and wealth.
Mary Catelli
Calvino wanted to be Italy's Brothers Grimm. Not in the sense of collecting the tales, which folklorists had been doing, but creating a popular collection. This is the result, down to the 200 tales. He notes that he also, like the Grimms, spruced up the tales. Unlike them, he put in end notes about what tales he combined, and what little details he added. (He went by the language and not by the country's borders.)

It's a wide variety, including some religious legends and animal fables and tales a
Parrish Lantern
Mar 11, 2011 Parrish Lantern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a masterful collection of Italian Folktales, where the reader is lured into a world of flux, of metamorphoses, where kings and peasants, tricksters and saints, and a whole zoology* of extraordinary animals, plants and fish wend their way through the landscape and history of the Italian nation.

Italian Folktales (Fiabe Italiane) is a collection of 200 folktales, collated from various regions around Italy, and from the works of a whole army of collectors, folklorists, ethnologists etc., mak
May 14, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 12, 2008 Kohl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are some seriously crazy fairy tales.

I finally finished this book.

I've been reading it, with varying degrees of intensity, since early 2004.

It is a 700+ page book of 200 folktales with notes and intros.

I tried to read one fairy tale every day. I failed that goal, but I came close at times.

These stories were so crazy, and yet most echoed motifs and structures of the fairy tales of other cultures.

I am so completely fascinated with the psychological need in society that has perpetuated the
May 28, 2016 Mysticmoon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bellissima raccolta di fiabe godibilissime sia per i bambini (io andavo matta per alcune di queste... e tuttora ne ricordo interi brani a memoria) sia per gli adulti. Imperdibile per i bambini di ogni età.
Aarne-Thompson-Uther Motif #413: Marriage by Stealing Clothing
(The Dove Girl, The Selkie Girl, The Deer and the Woodcutter)
Target audience: 13 years+

The Dove Girl is about a poor young man who is sent on a quiz to steal from a powerful wizard. The wizard catches the man, and he enters into the wizard’s service. One day, the wizard’s horses tell the young man about twelve doves who turn into beautiful maidens when they remove their feathers and bathe in a pond. The horses tell the young m
Paul Engle
Mar 28, 2015 Paul Engle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Italo Calvino (1923-85) was an Italian national treasure, best known for his fiction and rightly so. This book, however, is a departure from his better known offerings; a collection of two hundred Italian folktales. It is a large work, 766 pages, but each story is relatively short and for me it has stayed in easy reach on my nightstand since I bought it over a decade ago. Stories can be chosen at random, each a little gem of insight into the culture of a different region. If you are curious abou ...more
Luciana Darce
Mas que livro gostoso de ler! Terminei-o agora a pouco e imediatamente vim escrever a resenha, ainda sobre o encantamento produzido pela prosa combinada dos contos italianos e Italo Calvino.

Esse livro tem uma proposta parecida com a de 103 Contos de Fadas, da Angela Carter, mas, curiosamente, é uma leitura bem mais leve. Misturam-se em suas páginas contos de fadas, fábulas, anedotas, folclore e há um bom humor fantástico que parece permear toda a obra – do tipo que me fez ficar rindo de lado com
lézengő reader
Jun 02, 2014 lézengő reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A legtöbb mesét ismertem más, általában teljesebb, tetszősebb változatban, amit meg nem, az leginkább kalandregény-kezdemény. És persze joban örültem volna feldolgozatlan meséknek, szerencsére a jegyzetekből kiderül, hol mancsolt beléjük Calvino, de akkor is.
A képek nagyon szépek, de hogy jönnek népmesékhez? :D
Apr 29, 2008 Christiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah an oldie but a goodie ... pulled this out to read some of the tales to my 3 year old. While she fell asleep during the 1st one, I kept reading. This is a book I've read before (parts), but enjoy again and again.
Oct 18, 2010 GraceAnne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Generally speaking, I don't post books on Goodreads that I have read more than 20 years ago. I read this extraordinary and deep collection in 1990, but parts of it still haunt me.
Ian Evans
An amusing collection of fairy tales and folk stories that hasn't a whiff of postmodern style. Suck it, lit majors.
Caelan Griffiths
Dec 16, 2015 Caelan Griffiths rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tough slog if you try to read in sequence, from start to finish. I picked up a few in between novels as I went here. Overall very enjoyable, feels like a back catalogue of Calvino's muses. Must re-read his intro, as I am now finished, I'm sure there is more insight to be gained now having absorbed it all.

This is bedside table reading - so much developed in such a short time. Once flush with these tales I did find I was missing the development of generations, will likely take up Cervantes again t
Oct 11, 2014 Shaiya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 daughter's own storytelling creativity. Italian Folktales have considerable overlap with the Grimm Tales. I'm currently reading the unabridged Grimm Tales to my daughter.

Calvino is a brilliant writer and it is easy to see how the tales influenced his classic works such as Baron in the Trees. I would recom
Aug 06, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Folktales are always fun to read, but I believe I was halfway through this exhaustive volume when I had to stop. An exorbitant number of stories had to do with men who killed their wives for some stupid reason and expected them to come back to life. It was ridiculous. Men beating their wives, men killing their wives, with something magical thrown in for good measure. Maybe the second half would have been better, but I couldn't go on. Italo gets three stars for the sheer academic effort of record ...more
Tyler Jones
Stories, told and retold, take on lives of their own as parts of the tale are dropped, other parts added, some things stressed and other things inverted. These folktales, gathered from all over Italy, provide incredible insight into how language reflects social mores and prejudice. An amazingly illuminating work. I suggest reading these tales in as rapid succession as possible to make all the threads that wind through the tales (tales where children lose hands, tales of magic food, tales with de ...more
200 folktales ... I feel like I have accomplished a major reading project.

Reading folktales/fairytales, it's fun to see some of the similarities in European stories and start to pick up not only national but regional idiosyncrasies. This extensive collection of Italian tales not only has similarities to some very familiar stories but some also have threads of Arabic tales and Roman myths.
This is my first experience of Italian folktales outside of Roman mythology, so one of the things I don't re
Dennis Vickers
Jan 03, 2014 Dennis Vickers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino is a marvelous collection of stories akin to Grimms Fairy Tales, or Charles Parrault’s Tales of Mother Goose. As the preface explains, Italy lacked, until this book, a ‘comprehensive book of Italian folk tales, one that would be representative of the entire country and intended for popular consumption as well.’ Calvino must have expended an immense effort, working through 19th century source materials, to compile these stories, but none of this scholarly toil i ...more

Fiabe italiane è una splendida raccolta curata da uno degli scrittori italiani che amo di più. Italo Calvino, in questo cofanetto di tre volumi, è riuscito a condensare il fiore della tradizione fiabesca italiana. Ricchi mercanti, orchi, principi, inganni, sorelle invidiose, geniali popolani (a volte imbroglioni) e perfino Gesù e San Pietro sono soltanto una piccolissima parte degli elementi che popolano i libri.

Raccontate senza fronzoli, le fiabe di Calvino provengono da tutte le regioni italia
May 15, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Grandmother, from Italy, would tell my brother and I Giufa stories every night. We loved them. I have become the teller of Giufa stories. I was convinced that my Grandmother had made all these stories up about this poor farmboy, and his mother.

When my eldest son was in 1st Grade, he asked me one night after a Giufa story, "Is Giufa real, Dad."
Wanting my son to believe these stories to get the full impact, I replied, "Of course."
Then my son said, "Then tomorrow when we go to the library we c
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Into the Forest: Italian Folktales 60 28 Nov 29, 2015 07:43PM  
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Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).

His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic
More about Italo Calvino...

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“Now that the book is finished, I know that this was not a hallucination, a sort of professional malady, but the confirmation of something I already suspected—folktales are real.” 0 likes
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