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Italian Folktales

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,908 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
(Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library)
Paperback, 763 pages
Published August 12th 1981 by Pantheon (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)
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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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Fiabe italiane, Italo Calvino
عنوان: افسانه های ایتالیایی؛ نویسنده: ایتالوکالوینو؛ مترجم: محسن ابراهیم؛ تهران، نشر نیلا، 1378، در 516 ص، شابک: 9646900003؛ موضوع: افسانه ها و قصه های ایتالیائی - قرن 20 م
مجموعه ای از فولکلور و افسانه های ايتاليایی، کالوینو 200 داستان را از مجموعه افسانه های ایتالیا برگزیده، محسن ابراهیم نیز دست به انتخاب زده و یکصد داستان از دویست برگزیده. داستانها گاه مذهبی، گاهی پند و سرگرمی هستند. افسانه های ملل همیشه اشتراکاتی با دیگر ملل دارند، در کتاب: ماه پیشونی، نخودی، حسن
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
Sep 16, 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
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
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
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.
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
200 folktales ... I feel like I have completed 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 reall
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
It's not the cosmicomics :(
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
Jun 05, 2016 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book with a whole lot (200) of cute and sometimes dark folktales. There are some great ones, like what has to be the basis for Beauty and the Beast. The writing is great as it always is with Calvino.

The problem is that there are wayyyyy too many. 800 pages of folktales is too long. After 50 or so they can get repetitive and formulaic. I ended up skipping a bunch of stories. Because of this I couldn't rationalize 3 stars, even though the enjoyment level was definitely there.

This wou
Feb 09, 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
lézengő reader
Nov 13, 2012 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
Mar 08, 2012 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Containing short (2-3 page) old folktales, this is a charming collection. Not the type of thing you pick up and read from front to back (nearly 800 pages, 200 stories) more something you would pick up to read one or two before bed or to a child. Not a Calvino novel in the vein of the others of his I've read, but a very worthwhile addition to the bookcase.
Apr 21, 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.
May 09, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 31, 2010 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

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
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
Gianluca Micchi
Jul 29, 2016 Gianluca Micchi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cosa dire di quest'opera? Sicuramente che è molto importante da un punto di vista sociologico-culturale. Ma a me non interessa granché. Quello che importa è che le duecento (!!!) fiabe che compongono questa raccolta dimostrano una grandissima inventiva e fantasia nei particolari, pur seguendo un canovaccio che si può ridurre a pochi tipi diversi. Interessante notare come descrizioni e soluzioni che a prima vista sembrano molto "particolari" si ritrovino quasi identiche in posti e paesi anche mol ...more
vi macdonald
In this collection it's apparent that Calvino saw the way the Brothers Grimm applied their unique writing style to traditional stories, allowing their collection of German tales to have a very cohesive and unique feeling to it, and tried to emulate this through his own unique lens. This leaves the reader with not only a meticulous and detailed collection of Italian folktales, but one that is peppered with the writing style and insights of an Italo Calvino novel. So many of these tales have such ...more
I've only read about half of these stories--there are 200 of them. I would like to read the whole book but don't have the luxury being in school. Nonetheless, I think it's a pretty amazing thing that Italo Calvino has done for Italian folklore. He tells the tales simply, like folktales, not poetically in his own style. He was attempting to do for Italian folklore what the Grimm brothers did for German folklore and I think he succeeds admirably. The stories come with extensive source notes and no ...more
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Around the Year i...: Italian Folktales, by Italo Calvino 1 12 Nov 03, 2016 07:59PM  
Into the Forest: Italian Folktales 60 33 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.” 1 likes
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