Now a major motion picture starring Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, and Vincent Cassel: a rollicking, bawdy, fantastical cycle of 50 fairy tales told by 10 storytellers over 5 days
Before the Brothers Grimm, before Charles Perrault, before Hans Christian Andersen, there was Giambattista Basile, a seventeenth-century poet from Naples, Italy, whom the Grimms credit with recording the first national collection of fairy tales. The Tale of Tales—also known as The Pentamerone—opens with Princess Zoza, unable to laugh no matter how funny the joke. Her father, the king, attempts to make her smile; instead he leaves her cursed, whereupon the prince she is destined to marry is snatched up by another woman. To expose this impostor and win back her rightful husband, Zoza contrives a storytelling extravaganza: fifty fairy tales to be told by ten sharp-tongued women (including Zoza in disguise) over five days.
Funny and scary, romantic and gruesome—and featuring a childless queen who devours the heart of a sea monster cooked by a virgin, and who then gives birth the very next day; a lecherous king aroused by the voice of a woman, whom he courts unaware of her physical grotesqueness; and a king who raises a flea to monstrous size on his own blood, sparking a contest in which an ogre vies with men for the hand of the king’s daughter—The Tale of Tales is a fairy-tale treasure that prefigures Game of Thrones and other touchstones of worldwide fantasy literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Giambattista Basile (1575–1632) was born near Naples, Italy, and was an accomplished poet, courtier, and feudal administrator. Today he is remembered for The Tale of Tales, the first integral collection of fairy tales published in Europe; it includes the first literary versions of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and many other classic tale types.
Nancy L. Canepa (translator and introducer) is an associate professor of French and Italian at Dartmouth College.
Jack Zipes (foreword) is a preeminent fairy tale scholar who has written, translated, or edited dozens of books, including The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. He is a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.
Carmelo Lettere (illustrations) is an Italian artist. Originally from Lecce, Italy, he now lives in New Hampshire.