Laura J. Bobrow
19370 Magnolia Grove Square, Unit 210
Leesburg, VA 20176
            in the late 1500's Giambattista Basile collected oral tales being told in Naples and Venice. He wrote them 
            down in Neopolitan Italian, in a parody of the flamboyant pre-Baroque style.The published work was known 
            as  Il Pentamerone because, in the manner of the Decameron, it consisted of a frame story and inner tales 
            told over a period of five days.

            Basile's stories and the existing translations of them are filled with extraneous material and redundancy.
            The language is opulent, elaborate, and  exaggerated with the result that the plots are almost smothered. But 
            dig underneath to remove what pertains to the intrigues of court at the time, the many topical references and 
            the mannered descriptions and colloquialisms, and there are gems of stories to be retold. For that reason 
            I have put those forty nine stories into narrative verse, eliminating the embellishments and going straight 
            for the plot.  

            The poems adhere strictly to the story motifs. I have allowed myself a little playfulness at the end of each 
            story when the original morals appended appeared to be incomprehensible in our time.

            I have necessarily worked from translation, principally those of Nancy L. Canepa in “Giambattista Basile’s 
            The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones” Wayne State University Press, Detroit 2007, and those 
            by John Edward Taylor, 1848.

           Click on the buttons to read and listen to the tales.  

Pentamerone Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five

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Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five