The Pentamerone Neapolitan subtitle: Lo cunto de li cunti , "The Tale of Tales" is a seventeenth-century fairy tale collection by Italian poet and courtier Giambattista Basile. 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. These stories were later adapted by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm , the latter making extensive, acknowledged use of Basile's collection. 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. The style of the stories is heavily Baroque, with many metaphorical usages. This has been interpreted as a satire on Baroque style, but as Basile praised the style, and used it in his other works, it appears to have no ironic intention.
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Academic journal article Annali d'Italianistica. Viewers of Matteo Garrone's recent fairy-tale film, Il racconto dei racconti The Tale of Tales, , are vividly and rather unforgettably reminded that fairy tales are a violent genre. Although we associate them today with stories told in the nursery, a glance at traditional versions of even the most beloved of these narratives immediately reveals a striking presence of cruelty, blood, and death that many of us would hesitate to include in our children's bedtime rituals.
Likewise, few of us, I imagine, would bring young children to see Garrone's graphic film and not only--not even primarily--for the occasional nudity and sex. Let us take Cinderella, for example.
The Disney film from , probably the best-known version of the tale in the west, shows us two evil stepsisters and a cruel stepmother; there is envy and there is greed, and human evil is certainly present and active--but we do not see any actual violence performed on the protagonists, whether by themselves or by others: the most graphic among the events on the screen are the unsuccessful efforts, on Lucifer the cat's part, to kill and eat a number of cute mice, and a king's failed attempt to attack his advisor with a sword.
Once you're queen, you won't need to go on foot anymore"; the daughters obey but the prince realizes they are impostors because of their profusely bleeding feet Grimm As if the Grimm brothers' descriptions were not violent enough, in the oldest known European version of "Cinderella," Giambattista Basile's seventeenth-century "La Gatta cennerentola," it is the protagonist herself who kills the first of her two evil stepmothers by crushing her skull with the lid of a chest, after enticing her to stick her head inside it.
Fairy-tale specialist Maria Tatar unequivocally puts it: "In fairy tales, nearly every character--from the most hardened criminal to the Virgin Mary--is capable of cruel behavior" The Hard Facts 5. The Cinderella tale titled "La Gatta cennerentola" may be found in Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenemiento de peccerille The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones , a volume also known as the Pentamerone and published posthumously in Naples, at the behest of the author's famous soprano sister, Adriana Basile, between and It is portions of this book that director Matteo Garrone has adapted for the big screen, performing an opposite adaptation to that of Disney, who had bowdlerized the fairy tales he turned into film so as to please young viewers.
Garrone's choice of genre, and this director's emphasis on the violent and the strange, as well as on that "wholly other" and terrifying dimension that has been repeatedly associated with the sacred, returns Basile's tales, instead, to their intended audience, one, that is, made up largely of adults.
Basile's Cunto de li cunti is widely acknowledged as the oldest European collection consisting entirely of fairy tales. Inspired, in its form, by Boccaccio's Decameron both books have a frame tale containing ten tales per day, told each day by ten different narrators , Basile's Cunto de li cunti was written in a Neapolitan language that is made even more difficult, for the modern reader, by this author's ornate and prolix baroque style. An unknown error has occurred.
Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. Read preview. Introduction: A Violent Genre Viewers of Matteo Garrone's recent fairy-tale film, Il racconto dei racconti The Tale of Tales, , are vividly and rather unforgettably reminded that fairy tales are a violent genre.
Lo Cunto de Li Cunti, Vol. 1 : Il Pentamerone (Classic Reprint)
Giambattista Basile February — February was an Italian poet, courtier , and fairy tale collector. His collections include the oldest recorded forms of many well-known and more obscure European fairy tales. Born in Giugliano to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in , while other sources have February In Venice he began to write poetry. By the time of his death he had reached the rank of "count" Conte di Torrone. Basile's earliest known literary production is from in the form of a preface to the Vaiasseide of his friend the Neapolitan writer Giulio Cesare Cortese.
Violence in Fairy Tales: Basile's Lo Cunto De Li Cunti and Garrone's Il Racconto Dei Racconti
We'd like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest. Between and , a number of Neapolitan editors and publishers took it upon themselves to publish an extraordinary collection of stories, entitled Lo cunto de li cunti, ovvere lo trattenemiento de peccerille The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for the Little Ones , a. Footnote 1 Its author Giambattista Basile had passed away two years earlier. Basile had been a man of letters, active at several literary academies and courts in Naples, a connoisseur of the classics and a Petrarch enthusiast. Footnote 2 Written in a highly stylized version of the Neapolitan dialect as opposed to the more traditional Tuscan , the Cunto is nowadays mostly remembered for its narrative content.