Background[ edit ] The stories in the Pentamerone were collected by Basile and published posthumously in two volumes by his sister Adriana in Naples , Italy, in and under the pseudonym Gian Alesio Abbatutis. While other collections of stories have included stories that would be termed fairy tales, his work is the first collection in which all the stories fit in that single category. This drew a great deal of attention to the work. Not only were the traditions at that time more complete in themselves, but the author had a special talent for collecting them, and besides that an intimate knowledge of the dialect.
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Background[ edit ] The stories in the Pentamerone were collected by Basile and published posthumously in two volumes by his sister Adriana in Naples , Italy, in and under the pseudonym Gian Alesio Abbatutis. While other collections of stories have included stories that would be termed fairy tales, his work is the first collection in which all the stories fit in that single category.
This drew a great deal of attention to the work. Not only were the traditions at that time more complete in themselves, but the author had a special talent for collecting them, and besides that an intimate knowledge of the dialect.
The stories are told with hardly any break, and the tone, at least in the Neapolitan tales, is perfectly caught We may therefore look on this collection of fifty tales as the basis of many others; for although it was not so in actual fact, and was indeed not known beyond the country in which it appeared, and was never translated into French, it still has all the importance of a basis, owing to the coherence of its traditions.
Two-thirds of them are, so far as their principal incidents are concerned, to be found in Germany, and are current there at this very day. Among the places related to the stories we find the city of Acerenza and the Castle of Lagopesole , the latter connected to the fairy tale Rapunzel.
It is structured around a fantastic frame story , in which fifty stories are related over the course of five days, in analogy with the ten-day structure of the much earlier Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio The frame story is that of a cursed, melancholy princess named Zoza "mud" or "slime" in Neapolitan, but also used as a term of endearment.
She cannot laugh, no matter what her father does to amuse her, so he sets up a fountain of oil by the door, thinking people slipping in the oil would make her laugh. An old woman tried to gather oil, a page boy broke her jug, and the old woman grew so angry that she danced about, and Zoza laughed at her. The old woman cursed her to marry only the prince of Round-Field, whom she could only wake by filling a pitcher with tears in three days.
With some aid from fairies, who also give her gifts, Zoza found the prince and the pitcher, and nearly filled the pitcher when she fell asleep. A Moorish slave steals it, finishes filling it, and claims the prince. This frame story in itself is a fairy tale, combining motifs that will appear in other stories: the princess who cannot laugh in The Magic Swan , Golden Goose , and The Princess Who Never Smiled ; the curse to marry only one hard-to-find person, in Snow-White-Fire-Red and Anthousa, Xanthousa, Chrisomalousa ; and the heroine falling asleep while trying to save the hero, and then losing him because of trickery in The Sleeping Prince and Nourie Hadig.
The husband hires ten female storytellers to keep her amused; disguised among them is Zoza. Each tells five stories, most of which are more suitable to courtly, rather than juvenile, audiences. Zoza and the Prince live happily ever after. Many of these fairy tales are the oldest known variants in existence.
Selected and edited by E. Strange Illustrated by Warwick Goble This Italian collection of folk-tales now known as Il Pentamerone was first published at Naples, and in a Neapolitan dialect that kept it out of northern European tradition for two centuries, by Giambattista Basile, Conte di Torrone, who is believed to have collected them chiefly in Crete and Venice, and to have died in the s. Published posthumously, it became known as the Pentamerone by and eventually influenced the form of fairytales in Europe. The frame-story is of a group of people passing time by sharing stories, as in the Decameron and other European collections of tales. The Pentamerone tells fifty tales over five nights. The following illustrated version only contains 32 of the tales, follows the translation by John Edward Taylor published in , and was published by Macmillan and Co. The Pentamerone, despite being an influential classic, seems to have been largely ignored by translators and publishers, and no public domain full text is yet available online.
Lo cunto de li cunti
Stories from the Pentamerone