Storyteller
Laura J. Bobrow
            Giambattista Basile in the late 1500's collected oral tales 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 forty-nine tales 
            told over a period of five days.

            The original stories and the existing translations are filled with extraneous material and redundancy.The             language is opulent, elaborate, and  exaggerated to the point 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.  

            My intent is to make the stories more readily accessible to storytellers and educators. They are posted on 
            my website free for anyone to use.

            These are stories from which Perrault and the Grimm brothers took much of their material – with a difference.

              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.

            There are ten stories for each day.  Click on the buttons to read and listen to the tales.  












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     STORIES IN VERSE - IL PENTAMERONE
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