Tales From the Past

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There is no such thing as a story that is completely new. New stories are born all the time, but none of them are a hundred percent new. The basic narrative pattern of each story has probably been used for hundreds of years. What makes a story “new” is how the writer transforms the plot and creates a new tale out of an old plot.

“Who Knows?” is the title of a story, written by Guy de Maupassant, a great French storyteller. In this story, the reader may be uncertain as to whether or not the character is witnessing reality or if he is hallucinating.

The difference between appearance and reality is a great literary theme. This theme is used in “The Beggar” and is presented with humor.

Nearly a century ago, “Liberty” was written by Giovanni Verga. According to the author, “Liberty” is a story based on actual events. The poor folks of a tiny town take the law into their own hands and the landowners are subjected to the peasants’ vengeance.

Giovanni Boccaccio is an author who wrote a short story titled “How Two Lovers Were Reunited.” The story is told through Emilia. Emilia’s theme for the story is how she feels about love affairs. She believes that they should end happily and not in misery.

“Some Adventures of Don Quixote” is a story, written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It’s a humorous tale about adventures led by Don Quixote. It’s soon apparent that Don is either delusional or he has a very active imagination.

“Laughter” is a tale by Leonid Andreyev. “Laughter” can either be humorous or depressing. The underlying struggle in the story may not be anything to laugh about, but you just might find yourself cracking up with the creative and humorous way that the plot has been set up.


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