Basile, Giovanni Battista

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Giovanni Battista Basile (jōvän´nē bät-tēs´tä bäsē´lā), 1575–1632, Italian writer. Basile held several important official positions, devoting his spare time to the study of folklore. He is known for his Lu Cunta de li cunti [the tale of tales] (1634–36), a collection of folk and fairy tales written in the Neopolitan dialect in a vigorous, exuberant style. The collection, usually referred to as Il Pentamerone because its framework is similar to Boccaccio's Decameron, recounts 50 tales told to a prince and his bride by ten women during a five-day period. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and many other fairy-tale characters make their first appearance in its pages.