The tale, foundation of universal literature
March, 29; 2020. By
This article comes to review something that is well known to all, perhaps a truism, and it is the importance of the short story in its many variants, the tale, for universal literature. And within this discipline we can point out the curl of the curl of this literary genre: the tale within the tale. Because what better than a tale but a tale within another tale (and forgive me for the repetition)?

We can trace this trend within the literature as follows. We put aside ancient Chinese tales, Hindu tales, (Aesop's) fables, and come to one of the earliest manifestations of the current of the tale within the tale: Calila e Dimna, a series of stories that are framed within a general approach or common thread. In this specific case, there are stories within stories stitched up to five times.

Boccaccio's Decameron uses the aforementioned structure by weaving ten stories ten times in a general approach that shapes the narratives. And The Canterbury tales, almost contemporary, continue with the same scheme.

Then we jump to the example that Cervantes left us: Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, where there is a journey that is the general approach in which the characters that the protagonists meet are narrating their misadventures, which are autonomous on most occasions.

Then we can mention Arabian nights, a work that is also structured in this way, and whose benefits are well known (benefits we have taken care to highlight, also bordering on the truism, in this medium).

We leave many authors in the pipeline. But it is necessary to stick only to the examples of the tale within the tale, since there are many storytellers, and very good, all over the world. We invite the reader to discover them for himself.
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