The Feathered Ogre Essay

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Hamilton is an English teacher at Cary Academy, an innovative private school in Cary, North Carolina. In this essay she postulates that Calvino's post-structuralist fascination with the structural elements of short stories can be detected in his collection of Italian oral tales, Italian Folktales (1956), years before he began to experiment more radically in his writing. His interest is especially evident in one of the shortest of the tales, "The Feathered Ogre."

In 1927, when Italo Calvino was a young child, Vladimir Propp published his "Morphology of the Folktale," which outlines thirty-one possible stages, or elements, of the folktale. His discovery was groundbreaking and convincing, supported as it was with numerous examples from Russian folklore. Propp compared these story elements to the Russian formalist notion of the "morpheme," the smallest meaningful element of the sentence, on the level of the syllable. The formalists, in turn, had based their concept on...

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This section contains 2,370 words
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Buy The Feathered Ogre Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Feathered Ogre from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.