The reading season: Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales

They all have a happy ending and they are charming. What a Herculean feat!

Selected and retold by one of the country’s greatest literary icons, “this collection stands with the finest folktale collections anywhere” (The New York Times Book Review).

Evil and kind Queens, peasants, saints and serpents, all getting lost in the forest and somehow finding their way. Hopefully this can translate into our lives as he makes the fairy tales feel so real. Because they are in their own way as we all set about our daily tasks, many overwhelming, much of our fear existing in our own mind.

We have so many dragons to slay throughout our day but I for one am grateful. To feel like a kid again and relive tales that, once upon a time, part of a younger life. They instruct us to transform ourselves as so many characters do along their journey. If there was ever a time to believe we can transform ourselves, our world – it is now. Maybe we just need to believe.

There are 200 of them, each from some town or part of each of Italy’s 20 regions. Apparently Tuscany and Sicilia were the most ripe with fairy tales. Calvino re wrote some of them and attacked and overcame so many dialects – what a Herculean feat! Reminding of the many tasks we can overcome. Lessons to be learned, always, every day of our lives.

And worth my time, a lovely way to spend it…

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