05 November 2015


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 129

Once more I invite you all to join my language learning journey! As I've been saying in other posts, my mission is to absorb the L2 and L3 media that native speakers would have incorporated into their identity just by growing up in their cultures. And what better media to start with than the inheritance they were ready to receive as children?

Fiabe Italiane vs. Grimms Maerchen

Vote after the jump!

Well, okay, three different Italians have already told me that the faerie tales compiled and rewritten by Italo Calvino are not exactly Italian childhood staples the way the Brothers Grimm's stories have been in Germany (and arguably the rest of the world as well). But they are undoubtedly the closest in format--and I've been wanting to read some bite-sized stories for a while. So I beg everyone to indulge me. My personal interests aside, I think that faerie tales are, in and of themselves, worth reading--with faerie tales from other countries proving especially interesting because of the mix of universal archetypes and particularities of culture.

I'd like the readalong to follow the format of our earlier foray into Classic Radio plays. So a week from now, after the votes are in and the winner is chosen, I will announce the first of ten stories to read. I will choose only those that are available online in both English and the winner's original language. (If anyone has other suggestions on how to run this or which stories to feature, please let me know!)

Image Sources: a) Grimms Maerchen, b) Fiabe Italiane


Brandon said...

Tough choice! I think I would lean toward Italo Calvino here, just for something a bit new and a little different.

Calvino and Grimm would have parallels, so I wonder if it would be possible to do it Calvino v. Grimm all the way, comparing and contrasting? There certainly are parallel versions (e.g,. 'The Forty Thieves' / 'The Thirteen Bandits'). But perhaps that would be too difficult to set up with the additional constraint of having to find the tales in the right languages.

Enbrethiliel said...


Now that you mention it, that is something that I'd like to do. (I'm tired of having to choose between German and Italian all the time.) It would just, as you say, take a bit longer. And my laptop is kaput this month!

But we'll see . . . I get fewer and fewer comments all the time--and I'm starting to suspect that no matter how much "crowd pleasing" I do, I'll still end up mostly with silence. The silver lining to that is that not having to consider so many varied others so much will let me blog more indulgently. And you know, take up the great suggestions of those who do comment. =)

cyurkanin said...

I don't know why but Calvino seems so familiar to me. I checked his bio and my Goodreads list but I don't seem to have come across him before, yet... Another vote for Calvino here.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks! Some non Il Volo Italian might be good for me. ;-)

mrsdarwin said...

I like the idea of German, but mine isn't advanced enough yet to read along. So let me add my voice to the Calvino crowd. I've read part of Italian Folktales, but it belonged to my in-laws, so I don't have it to hand any more.

Christopher, Calvino writes Italian novels in a very post-modern, absurdist style. "If On A Winter's Night A Traveler" and "Mr. Palomar" are both on my shelf, but I've read neither all the way through.

cyurkanin said...

Thanks, Cat, I read a lot of absurdist miscellany these days so I'm sure I came across him while reading other authors. I just can't place where or when.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for your vote, Mrs. Darwin! =)