The Gold Scales Site Portal

Folktales Examined: Articles

RESERVATIONS Folktales, essays 

Folktales Examined

Folktales articles, fronted by A TROLL AND PRINCESS
A troll and princess.

Folktales articles, inaugural THERE are many figurative lessons in good fairy tales. This comes in addition to: "A story is a story, a medley of words and phrases. Some carry connotations or perhaps they are symbolic through agreements that they are so." In part it depends on the mind of those who do. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Some endearing or scary wonder tales carry suggestions on how to make it through life. Certain essays below also offer suggestions that could help. Getting skilled by back-up ideas fit for cognitive development and mastery learning assets is involved in it. That doesn't sound all bad, does it?

We had better learn to interpret entertainments
before scoundrels play on too short-sighted desires
that can be in many a young frog
to some alarming future damage.

Getting well aligned with folkloric studies in new ways

Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) did not know all the fairy tales in the world, not even all European ones, when he wrote to Peter Chr. Asbjornsen that the Norwegian folktales were "- die besten Märchen die es gibt. (The best fairy tales that exist)" [Nov 26]. This needs to be made clear.

It may likewise be over the top, what the US author Aaron Shephard writes: "No one tells a tale better than the Scandinavians. Storytelling doesn't get better than this (commenting George W. Dasent's translation of many "Norse" tales)."

The opinions of authorities are not wholly unwelcome, but there is something better than succumbing to quite unfounded opinions: We should not let words by authorities and others sway us unduly, Buddha says. [Link]

Another concern is that almost no Norwegian folktale is purely Norwegian; most fairy tales are shared among peoples. We also need to know something if we want to evaluate fairy tales in this and that respect.

A Special Form of Collated Material: The Tick Tack Tao Survey

You may have heard about tick tack toe - which brings a solution in three steps. Tick Tack Tao is also for stepwise, constructive activity to reach some Tao (way, means, welcome, and so on). It is an all-round model. It does not reflect a toe theory (theory of everything), but a Tao theory.

Simply put, there is a Tao structure deep within some of the essays on this page and site. It conforms to the standards of reports in science, and suggests how to go for thriving too.

The mere surface of a tick tack Tao scheme also helps perusal. As for plain language, many go for it:

Even for the physicist the description on plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached. - Werner Heisenberg. [Thd 27]

If you cannot - in the long run - tell everyone what you have been doing, your doing has been worthless. - Erwin Schrödinger. [Ibid.]

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in language comprehensible to everyone. - Albert Einstein. [Ibid.]

Plain and succinct language is good too: "Do not say a few things in many words, but much in a few words [Pythagorean]." Over and above that is a saying of Pythagoras: "Let no man entice you to say or to do what is not profitable for yourself."

At times you want your language to be expressive. Poetry may look plain, say much in many words, and give expression to things that are difficult to put into words otherwise. Poetic language may ignore many language conventions, and still make lots of sense. Such language may require more of the reader, though.

Fairy Tale Symbols

It is possible that there are ancient symbols in some fairy tales, or remnants. If so, they relate to a certain culture's way of expressing ideas. Such ideas may or may not be fit in today's society. Yet it may work well to interpret cosy folktales by clever, artful skills in quite postmodern and fair symbol understanding.

We may look on fairy tales as outputs of man's deep, figure-forming capacities, or shared fantasies that reflect deep concerns, ardent wishes, and, indirectly, some living conditions, and linked to some nightly dreams. In both these cases we get material for deep pondering.

Also, it may be halfway guessed that much that was thought to be good for grandma, may never be good again.

Some moral standards made clear

Monet Certain themes and various other elements of folk ballads and legends are as in folk tales, and some are derived from Norse myths. Compare Uther's introduction.

Also, granted that a measure of reserve is fit for most persons against being taken in, here are idea of free enquiry that Buddha presented 2 500 years ago [Kalama Sutta].



  1. Marry someone realistic (at any rate a breadwinner).
  2. It matters to link up well, and over and above books. Much can be mastered through fit practice and making use of one's opportunities.
  3. You should find out of real concerns at work where you are or make you living, over and above ancient Greek concerns, fairy lore concerns and whatever. Recent developments need to be studied and mastered first, for the sake of accommodation that matters and fits in. It is an on-going process, too.



"Forest troll" by Theodor Kittelsen, 1906

What can be learn from trolls? Trolls are figures of fancy, often grotesque ones, and their history goes a long way back. Much depends on what we mean by trolls. Among Vikings trolls vere gygers, they were natural forces somehow, and seem to have taken off from earlier constructs of Greek gorgons. Among the Norse, gygers and dwarfs mingled with Norse gods: Later Norwegian trolls of folklore look in part like the landscape itself. In an academic book by P. A. Munch, we get glimpses of trolls, maiden with swan wings, and so on, along with old monstrous females that most likely represent nature's forces. They are most likely figurative, tells Munch [Ng, sv "Tor"]. [Link]

Trolls are at times used as symbols of destructive instincts. They steal milk maidens or human maidens and good spirits . . . The Vikings did the same in Europe for a couple of centuries. On several island that Norsemen inhabitated, trolls are quite like mound-buried Norsemen. On such as the Shetland Islands some trolls are simply Vikings buried in their grave mounds. On the Shetland and Orkney isles, settled by Norwegians, trolls are still called trows. Here they appear as small malign creatures who dwell in mounds or near the sea.

Trolls appreciate jewels, gold, and silver artifacts, just like Norse pirates, Vikings.

Trolls can be man-catching neighbours: Viking Norwegians took Swedes for slaves too. They also set up a slave market in Dublin, which they built.

Big trolls of Norwegian folklore are in several respects like the ancient Greek cyclopes that Ulysses fought too. There are similarities.

In Greek mythology a Cyclops is (1) any of three one-eyed Titans who forged thunderbolts for Zeus; or (2) any of a race of one-eyed giants, reputedly descended from these Titans, and who lived on the island of Sicily. Cyclopes are said to live in caves on the tops of high ountains, take no account of their neighbours. In Book 9 of the Odyssey, Odysseus and his friend Misenus led a party that landed in the territory of the lawless and inhuman Cyclops and entered a large cave. They did not know that the cave was the dwelling of a one-eyed giant who trapped them in the cave by blocking the entrance with a boulder, and then ate a pair of them every day. When the giant asked for his name, Odysseus told him that it was "Noman", which happened to be a short form of his own name. Later Odysseus and his men thrust a red-hot beam into the Cyclops' eye, and the giant cried, "Noman is killing me either by treachery or brute violence!" The other Cyclopes let him be, saying, "Then," said they, "if no man is attacking you, you must be ill." Soon Odysseus and his men escaped.

In later Norwegian tales, trolls are more man-sized and hostile to men. Those trolls hinder, seduce and steal, or openly hinder traversing some bridge to some other side - or hinder further fair and fit progress, as we like to call it. [Hee. Tnn]. ◊

A Danish insight or hindsight is that a troll may look like a Danish farmer, and bad - even hideous - under the coating. In Norway trolls were thought of as inhabitant in rather far-away mountains. [Dao xx]

Trolls might be very hard to track down, not unlike psychopaths today - it depends on how well they fit in and how good they are at masking themselves. A curious thing about trolls of the agrarian society is that they burst or turn to stone if exposed to sunlight. There could be a deeper significance of that peculiar side to folklore trolls.

Proverbs and fables rooted in folklore classics

Freudian interpretations are being charged with being overly reductive or simplistic. This was one reason that Carl G. Jung broke out of Freud's circle and formed his own school of psychology. A book edited by Richard P. Sugg, Jungian Literary Criticism [Jlc], shows how basic Jung ideas pertaining to dreams and dreaming are applicable to understanding literature, including fairy tales. Compare: [LINK]

Kathleen Raine writes in the same work,

Jung was no poet, but he too was a master of the language of symbol, and the image is the language of psyche. Jung taught us to read our dreams as if these were poems; as we should read poetry of the imagination as the discourse of our inner worlds. (in Jlc 168; "C. G. Jung: A Debt Acknowledged"].

Folktales may provide young ones with common frames of references in their culture. Aesop's fables have done so in Europe and elsewhere for centuries. There are hundreds of common proverbs that stem from fables of Aesop, and some are in Scandinavian languages too; this site contains bilingual pages of Swedish and other proverbs, for example.

By classifying tales carefully we may eventually compare more of them far easier. The latest edition of international folktales does it. Giving numbers to types of folktales is for making the reading more comparative and the body of folktals easier to survey. [Tyno 14-5]. The basic unit in folktales is now recognised as motifs. [LINK]

What seems to be largely lacking in the world is figure-aided understanding to steer the technical development. Unrecognised to most people, there is bad affluence as well as all right affluence and something in the middle.


The cosy story is inside a world of art

Ancient Greek Jason and his band of heroes are considered culture bringers. They sailed off onboard the Argo into unchartered waters in quest of a golden fleece. The story about Jason and his men were told by many authors who differ. Orpheas mentions 49 men, Apollodorus 45, Apollonius 64 and Diodorus 54, for example. In the folktale genre too we find differing details, differing Leitmotifs, and much variation.

Well over two thousand years later many Argonautica themes appear in Munchausen braggart tales - in the chapter about his fifth and sixth adventure at sea, where he was sent to Cairo from Constantinope. On his way he came across a small, meagre man who ran along in chains, because he was so swift on foot and did not want to run too fast . . . The next man he met, lay listening to the grass growing; he was good at hearing. The third was a master marksman, the fourth abnormally strong. A fifth companion carried winds and could blow them too. In the next chapter, after a wager with the sultan of Constantinope, the baron got good use of their services. [Bmm ch 10 and 11]

Gustave Doré Illustration of a Munchausen character
Fast runner. Illustration by Gustave Doré

Folktales collected later, include remarkable helpers, they too. They are quite common in the stock of characters of folktales. In the most recent International Folktale Catalogue the type of tales where extraordinary companions help the central character on and up, is ATU 513, which represents a cycle of similar tales. A magic ship is linked to the Argonautica in the ATU-type 513B too. [Ti Vol 1]

A few of Jason's best men were sons of the north wind. Another was the hero Heracles, who by no means had an easy life. Nor did Jason, wed to a witch, get a care-free life.

Among the other heroes who banded with Jason was one who could steer by watching the stars at night and the sun during the day. There was also the wise and widely travelled founder of Orphism - famous for his haunting music. And another, Lynceus, was believed to be clear sighted, and so on.

Troubles are what stories are made of, tells Jerome Bruner.

Well-formed stories, [Kenneth] Burke proposed, are composed of a pentad of an Actor, an Action, a Goal, a Scene, and an Instrument—plus Trouble. Trouble consists of an imbalance between any of the five elements of the pentad: an Action toward a Goal is inappropriate in a particular Scene . . . an Actor does not fit the Scene . . . or there is a dual Scene . . . or a confusion of Goals. [Coe 50] [More]

Some parts of the Argonautica are parallelled in Munchausen tales and later Scandinavian tales about the Ashlad who gets remarkably skilful helpers onboard a magical ship. They work together, help him on, and save him.

A fairly typical "wonder tale" takes off from some surrounding within the world of sense experiences and soon turns surreal - the fancy breaks loose. It can do so so within common bonds and conventions, or drop them for quite a bit, and often contains miraculous or fanciful happenings. Some fairy tales contain magic. The tale about Jason and his men does so too, as many other ancient stories about Greek men. Folklore owes plenty to that rich, energetic heritage. It was focused on deeds for most part.

On top of central, ancient Greek and Roman heritage come the later fairy tales with intermingled motivs of many kinds. Scandinavian folktales also draw on themes and characters of Norse mythology, especially Thor. Belief in fairies, as among Celts, come in addition, as do beliefs in apparitions. There are also heroes of the past - the travels and exploits of several Vikings run in part by patterns similar to some of folklore. Some such tales centre around a Viking hulk Rolv Ganger - not Gangster - also called Rollo. He took over Normandy, and his descendants took over England. . And it might be true - and definitely contains overriding ideas in several Ashlad tales. [Link]


The Viking hulk stands up as a folktale hero

LoThe old schemes and some typical exploits of fairy tale heroes walk in the steps of great warriors since the Viking Age

Fine folktales comes in varied garbs on top of rather fixed schemes, many structuralists have documented [Moof; Sts; Fmf; Dege]. The ascent of the Viking Rolv Ganger is like that of a fairy tale hero.

  1. After once being shooed back in Norway, Rollo make it by violence a long way from home.
  2. After much turmoil he won a district large enough to feed him and his men: he got Normandy in three strides by "impressing" the French King Charles the Simple in a Norse way - and married a duke's or the French king's daughter or both in time - something like that.
  3. Now Rolv Ganger and his family after him could rule what was to be the best part of France for a long time..

According to Viking sagas the story of Rollo is fact, not fiction. The material was put down in writing in the 1200s, and is thus many centuries older than the more recently collected folktales of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Moreover, the story of Rolv Ganger surpasses lots of fabricated fairy tales, but is fundamentally not different in over-all structure and fantastic perspectives. Further, historians have uncovered that some Normans descendants in Italy and further south-east, ruled like Oriental potentates. The historian Reginald A. Brown (1985, 11-14) furnishes good briefings into that part of the Norman heritage.

Now, what is a good tale?

The historical Rollo story is not at all presented as fiction. The folktale genre also contains stories on how to make it. Many German theorists conclude that this function - how to make it - may be the neat one to get to grips with, and I agree.

LoThe medieaval The Icelandic story-writer Snorre Sturlason and the author of the just as old Saga of the Orkney Earls both tell that Rolv Ganger existed

Olav BØ and his three fellow-writers: The folktale is a prose story inside the grouping called fiction. It can be a certain genre of fiction narratives, as I would call it. It has lived for some time orally, and its contents is fictitious, or so we are to think. The surreal of fictitious elements may be due to deft or metaphoric presentation, for most part. [Nov 11]

Classic tales entered the Norwegian mainstream through translated literature, or through renditions that were coloured by local set-ups, more or less. Odd stories about fighting dragons, persons who slept terribly long, and much else entered with Catholicism and its concomitant impulses. [Nov 13]

Folktales are found to have travelled and can have changed during some travels. [Nov 12] ◊

Some folktales come down from the ancient Semitic heritage. In the Semitic heritage, animals could talk and angels take the shape of men. Mary was made pregnant with an angel against the Law of Moses, even. The talking donkey appears in Numbers 22, where the harshly driven animal pauses and speaks up untaught.

In both Latin and Greek culture, oral and written strains blended, and only a meagre part of the written texts are now extant. Talking animals and fable animals appeared in both strains.

Lo Penetrating symbols of folklore from many countries can reflect vital parts of the running history and some of its main lessons

Some critics, including Max Lüthi, consider folktales as poetry. You may say "semi-poetry" too. Anyway, folktales are texts and very often contain terse embodiment of cardinal main-points, even metaphors, symbols, repetitions of salient themes, and pregnant fun. Some stories contain brief rhymes too. Besides, dominant motifs of myths and folktales mingle. [Nov 55,13-14]

Olav Bö and others estimate that perhaps not more that 6 out of nearly 2500 "folktale types" in that predominantly European-based catalogue" are included in the Panchatantra. [Nov 28] MM

Handed over folktales contain figurative elements that may be called cultural treasures of a sort, and they are in part for culture-shared understanding.

The figurative prowess (Sanskrit: maya) that is still harnessed by fables, folktales and attached proverbial counsels to help naive ones get a rough beginner's grip on life, can be studied and trained. Okay education is for that too, at least sensible Waldorf Education.



  1. The old schemes and some typical exploits of fairy tale heroes walk in the steps of great warriors since the Viking Age.
  2. The hulk Rolv Ganger (Rollon) got Normandy.
  3. Penetrating symbols of folklore from many countries can reflect vital parts of the running history and some of its main lessons.

IN NUCE Typical exploits of marauders like Rolv Ganger conform to how many folktale heroes make it.


Non-morbid congruence

In the coming series of surveys, views of Max Lüthi, Kurt Ranke and Lutz Röhrich are used to illustrate the ascent of Rollo, Or Rolv Ganger.

Max Lüthi and Rolv Ganger brought together

Professor Max Lüthi points out much, and only a few of his shots are presented here:

LoThe hero has to leave home at the start

A SORT of ascent is much spoken of. Max Lüthi hardly guesses that the social climb is foremost, he prefers to interpret folktales deeper than that, but interpretative endeavours like his have to be arbitrary, according to Norwegian professor Olav Bø and colleagues. [Nov 58]

One of the common motifs is "being shooed" [Nov 58] ◊

LoNext, winning actions stand out a lot

LIKE Norse, terse style, common folktales are focused on actions, and they can be remote. [Nov 57]

LoVery sketchy and suave contours allow little listeners to listen in without much alarm, despite possibly freakish actions of the story

ONLY gross contours of the heroes are included. [Nov 57]
      Professor Lüthi also asks what the folktales give the listeners. One hardly knows. [Nov 58]



  1. One leaves home.
  2. There is a great need for winning activities.
  3. Little listeners are taught that going for gold, treasures and so on, serves status and a good life.


Leave home and win a good life is a major lesson. In such a light many folktales are preparatory, in part deeply symbolic.

Kurt Ranke and the ascent tale of Rolv Ganger and his men

Lo The thorny hero route of striving is taken due to harsh surroundings and predominant, often typified figures in it

The basic feats of fairy tale main figures are heroic-active ever so often, and their fights are crowned by victory - or they die. The hero's action route counts the most. It can be a thorny route as well. [Nov 59]

Like good jokes, fine stories from fact and fiction can have a secret, much common function: to lift a bit from trivial surroundings. [Nov 60]

Much can be had by sturdy identification with the well portrayed figures inside the stories on prose and verse. ◊

LoFormer culture's heroes typify the progress they saw as essential or worthy - more than typified positioning can be reflected in a folktale as well

The main theme of the solid folktale can be the route of the hero's progress. [Nov 59]

The folktale hero presents things many people yearn for for themselves or dear ones. Folktales contain messages about the common or former culture, and can be of interest to professional educators. [Nov 59]

Lo What remote stories help today's predominant needs to get handy and successful, is an open question so far

What sort of underlying, possibly primal drives that could have created the story in question, concerns the culture-psychologist Kurt Ranke. [Nov 60]



  1. First there are portrayals in prose and verse of the heroes.
  2. Those held up as worthy guys represent cherished values of culture, and stories about them - real or invented - serve to maintain and transmit the culture. [cf. Jerome Bruner]
  3. Among the needs or drives that create the story are being "handy and successful", all in all, if needs be by magical aids, animals and other means.

IN NUCE Cherished "worthy guys" create needs among others; needs to be like them a bit, for example.

Professor Lutz Röhrich considers much that fits in with our notes on Rollo here

LoDwarfing ones and sleek strangers of pretences mar good enough living

All folktales connect with some sides inside reality, one way or other. [Nov 60]

Very coarse, brutish elements of many folktales can be understood in part as stemming from a certain historical, social reality. For example, the gruesome wolf in "Red Riding Hood" found in the Grimm collection, might as well be a werewolf - that is a sociopath that killed and ate victims, such as children. The wolf actually is a werewolf in seven French variants, and French versions may be older than those collected by the Grimms. So this tale has most likely served to warn young, innocent girls against the dangers of trusting in or talking to strangers and others wearing "masks", says Bö and others. [See Nov 61]
      According to professor Röhrich, the fairy tale may mirror the real world or a social niche inside reality, more or less. [Nov 61]

LoHorary, real persons show what has been allowed to happen, and at what price: some can be identified with to one's profit

The best tale can contain features included in real, historical personages - like our Rolv Ganger. [See Nov 61]

LoMuch solid or at least plausible linking of the real historical forerunner of "fantastic-realistic" (i.e. figurative-looking) art of folktales allows new outlooks - not all may be welcomed at once

The folktale is fantastic and realistic at the same time. [Nov 60]
      The very possible metaphor involved in "Red Riding Hood" can be old: The gospel warns against false leaders as wolves in sheep's clothing, and the wicked king Herod is called a fox. Interestingly, the major part of 1 Samuel 8 expressly warns against the best of kings. Thus, wolves and kings can be the worst sort of bedfellows, it stands out. Few people believe it nowadays, and forget such as the Viking descendant Henry 8 of England. He beheaded his wives.

What can the reason be? MM



  1. Sleek strangers and others wearing "masks" may mar.
  2. Real, historical personages can be identified with.
  3. As for invented "fantastic and realistic characters", like the Ashlad, it is a composite figure. Some Ashlads steal, others lie, and so on. Their ascent tales are not solidly founded, it seems to me.

IN NUCE Historical figures may not wear masks of acceptability if the biographers are good. Otherwise, "History has many cunning passages (T. S. Eliot)," and "History . . . the portrayal of crimes and misfortunes (Voltaire)." The fantastic and realistic stock character called the Ashlad, is guilty of crimes and causing misfortunes too - in some tales, but not all of them.

Ashlad qualifications?

Some writers, such as Egil Sundland, over-idealise the Ashlad character. He thinks that Ashlads:

help and are helped [In some tales the Ashlads kill, steal, and swindle]. . . they resolve the problems they face [However, in many tales they are actually helped - by animals and tools and so on]. . . Therefore the Ashad figure can be the pattern for the other people [I would not bet on it] . . . The Ashlad is the soul of the folktale, by him it breathes. [Not so. Overblown praise is not really decent.] Through him light and hope reaches down into the smallest corner of the adventure, he creates freedom and new perspective [Not so, but it depends on which Ashlad we talk about. In some tales he is not too bad.] . . . [The Ashlad] splits up the routine world and put the items into a new and surprising context [Well -] . . . Being turned into stone and bewitched seems to be everything that would prevent the human freedom to live itself out through the naked, unassuming meeting with reality [That Sundland view is counteracted by many who are turned into "naked stone" in meetings -] . . . By help of the tests of qualification the Ashlad has come to the inside of things and reality, into the subcurrent of life which makes everyone brothers and sisters. [He swindles, steals, and kills too. If brothers and sisters are marked by that and mockery, Sundland is right, but I suspect he thinks differently.]" [Dede 32-33, 36, 37-38, 68]

I would not hail someone who steals, swindles, and kills, which the Ashlad does in some types of tales. You may look up for yourself. In AT 327 and 327C a little boy soon becomes a killer, and in "The boy steals the giant's treasure" the hero Hakkebolle dupes and kills (AT 328). There is much killing and cruelty in the types AT 1115-1144 too. "The cat as helper", AT 545B, is also marked by swindling and killing. The folk hero fools his employers harshly in some tales between AT 1000-1160, and he kills and swindles there too, for example in AT 1088, where he makes the ogre kill himself in an eating contest; AT 1122, "Ogre's wife killed through other tricks", and so on.

The point is: We should not be taken in as to how the multiple Ashlad character is like. His traits are composites. In some tale types he appears to be good enough, in some there is a mixture of good and bad moral, in a few tales he is an example of bad moral - swindling and killing and so on. It depends on the teller and also on what sort of hero the audience wants - Peik (AT 1542) swindles and kills, Little Peter does (AT 1535); the Master Thief does (AT 1525 A-F) - so blunt Ashlad glorification is not really good enough. There is reason to call the Ashlad figure entertaining and "let it rest there". [Cf. Tyno for more]

Further, one typical "trick" in socialising young ones by tales into making use of friends and helpful animals and later kill them "for their own good", goes along with mistreating many employers, and also persons who live quite alone, separate from others. Parts of this communicated attitude is, "Give a dog a bad name and hang him." Call a man troll or ogre, and then rob and kill him" - Labelling someone who owns treasures a troll or a troll woman, is a devise to legitimise stealing treasures and killing these outsiders, as in Hakkebolle.

Also, very many folktales teach that killing villains is just punishment. That comes in addition. Human Rights want it different.

It is better to be aware of such attitude-influencing sides to folktales than glorifying their focus person indiscriminately - the Ashlad by so many names - and against solid facts.


Fairy tales and the international multi-media industry

Lo Fairy tales help ideation - the ability to figure this and that in one's head is all-important for intellectual development

Jack Zipes of the University of Minnesota discusses the value of fairy tales in his book Breaking the Magic Spell. On the one hand some of them can serve fantasy or pass on inherited values in image-form. [Cf. Brms 93-129] (1)

LoTo be sacked by imperialistic big business is tragic, and can slowly dwarf self-processed, good imagination activity. There is that danger

In our days fairy tales have been taken by multi-media industry - or bizarre culture industry. They are very often modulated and changed - as in the much imperialistic Disney industry - on top of hidden ideology of at least two sorts: (a) possible deep and cogent thinking at the core of the traditional tale; (b) the new ideology that often "murders" cogent deep reflection by the new, tragically pushy form. These two modulations blend and interchange quite a lot. [Brms 11, 112] ◊

LoSocial deals and man's social history dwindle or atrophy if the basic impetus for improvements should go away

On the other hand, Zipes hold that folktales are known to have inspired revolutions in European art forms and social history through lots of romantic inspirations. And that is a fact. [Cf. Brms 47-93] (5) (#1.1)



  1. It should help to go into the texts, proficiencies, and connections demanded for the career and give the bad ones to low-level trolls around so that they waste their time and drop out of the competition.
  2. To be deep is to have roots and gain rapport within the traditional. But let there also be room for novel modulations that can blend and interchange.
  3. The best tales can bulwark against tyranny, or instigate better conditions by helping common people so that they are not so easily taken in by surface means and measures. The best ones have inspired revolutions of art, social conditions, and technology through lots of inspirations [LINK].

IN NUCELet sleazebags waste their time on unrewarding books and the like. Help good guys to keep their roots and footings by good books and social interchanges. Tales may be found to help common people too.


We Can Learn from Cosy Fairy Tales and Handed-over Fables

Most references below are to Jack Zipes' book Breaking the Magic Spell (Brms) in short.

Fairly well thought up tales today are of literature, which allows for many genres and rich variations. Further, the former dramatic performance of folktales and similar material, has been diffused, more or less. [Brms 11]

Jungian "plunges" into traditional tales can be of great value. [Brms 144] ◊

Many of today's success tales are adapted to the ravaging materialism in the West. You probably risk much if you break with it. [Brms 45, 95]

Lots of fairy tales take up themes and point at old ways out of them - and by congruence or similarity of solutions some may give excellent hints for some youngsters today, because they are in part figurative and polished, and hence can address many quite easily.

Some folk tales can still furnish cosy entertainment and counteract alienation, thanks to such as narrative art. [Brms 67, 95] (7) MM

Many recorded Scandinavian tales of times gone by, dealt with severe problems of cotters, farmers and fishers, and imbued many themes with a mythical fervour, so to speak. They hit their audience pretty well. [Cf. Brms 80, 31, 144; Gh]


The rather Jungian "plunges" into traditional tales can help some discover that lots of fairy tales take up themes and point at old ways out of problems among men rather often.

IN NUCE Some sides to personal encounters and interactions have hardly changed since the stone age, and stories tell the boys and girls about ways to be straight or straighten up too. Handy daring is at times thought to be good, if it works well.

I Think We Can Say

Folktales deal with problems of human beings, and their solutions.

Development needs neat structuring to work for good.

One has to be take care not to use psychological interpretations in a reductionist manner.

At least we hope that carefully tailored, imaginative or non-fiction literature help children develop. image

  1. We can structure good imaginations - good figure-formations aiding present-day solutions - in the child's head and he may cope better, well aligned to the best or most fit of the proficiency-suggestive folktales.
  2. Fit and well conceived tales - there are many others - should help identity, and possibly calling, a long way.

    Rich, suggestive figurative language is an age-old method for helping children develop traits along with conform enough character, and is found in some proverbs too.

    It helps to know what the various tales most likely are about if sensibly interpreted or re-interpreted in different lights. There are various schools for that - Freudians have one.

  3. It can be a good thing to dig up likely significance of folktales for urban child development, since most humans live in an urban environment today.

IN NUCEGood imaginations serve cultural identity a long way, and help main outlets and adaptations of conformity. Some children today may lack severely in such means of growing into life, in part due to urban environment, in part due to exploiting mass media.

Ready to Help the "Urban Dwellers" Somehow

To satisfy the new "urban class" in clear-cut manners requires their interest and builds on top of already known items in the back street asphalt jungle or slum, is one fair conclusion.

Most people on earth live in slums, and most people in the industrial society live in urban settings - maybe eighty per cent do. New folktales should accommodate to them and hardly the other way round to be fit. They had better be remodelled for an urban child to ride.

Adults may do well to tell the children the tales because that shows approval of children's imaginative play. [Brms 161]

The folktales of old depicted or reflected changing social structures and alternative forms of behaviour so that new developments and connections between humans and things could be better grasped, according to August Nitschke. [Brms 169-70]

Basil Bernstein discusses the ramifications of language for the psycho-social development of children, and he makes careful, empirically based distinctions. He investigated why working-class children respond differently and often negatively to the socialisation process which has been developed to satisfy middle-class needs. Working-class children have a rather more restricted [communication] code that reflects limited, more authoritarian margins of socialisation. The class-ridden code can be more brutal and far less frivolous than what teaches proficiency of inputs and outputs. [Brms 168] ◊

Freudian psychoanalytic theory is rooted in this: Surmising can be great help. [Brms 160]

"Any psychological approach to the folktales would first have to investigate the socialisation processes . . . in a given historical era in order to provide an appropriate interpretation." - Jack Zipes. [Brms 163, 169]

Moral concerns in the welfare of children seem to be class-ridden. [Cf. Brms 160, 165]

Good, warm tales can be liberating and suggestive through imaginary depiction of such as healthy human rebellion, moral maturity and . . . overwhelming importance. [Cf. Brms 161]

"Folk and fairy tales remain an essential force in our cultural heritage." - Jack Zipes. [Brms 177] MM


  1. Adults should train themselves to recount in artful manners or very clear-cut, candid and proficient ways.
  2. Embroider little. This too may assist a guy that must learn to give better orders to others than mom and dad.
  3. Artful, demanding stands goes even into gesturing and dominance tackling. Let that understanding be called central nowadays.

IN NUCEThe creative purpose and major themes of the folktales concern the depiction of changing social structures and alternative forms of behaviour and new developments and connections, says August Nitschke. And a psychological approach to folktales would first have to investigate the socialisation processes in a given historical era in order to provide an appropriate interpretation. Zipes also thinks the fit folktale may liberate the child's subconscious somehow.


Tables and folktales are excellent for learning a language.

At times you want your language to be expressive, sunny enough, and be in good spirits. Trolls may hate all of that in the real world we take part in. One focus of folktales is rewarding activity. And between the lines fine folktales take part in transmitting culture, as Jerome Bruner has argued.

Thus, folktales are not only about surface means, intrinsic tale structures (Moof; Sts; Fmf; Bø in Dege), and other half-poetic measures. They also instruct young ones in the values of a culture more or less past, and how to make it by pragmatic means. Decent tales may help one's "folk identity" too.

Folktales, essays 
Folktales, essays - END MATTER

Folktales, essays, LITERATURE  

Norsk eventyrbibliotek (Norwegian Folktale Collection) edited by B. Alver (et. al) was published by Det norske Samlaget in Oslo 1967-1981, and consists of twelve volumes:

  1. Bø, Olav og Hodne, Bjarne eds: Dei tri blå tårni. Eventyr frå Telemark 1. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1974. - 251 p.
  2. Bø, Olav, red: Dyret i hagjen: Eventyr frå Agder. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1978. - 203 p.
  3. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Guten i gadden: Eventyr frå Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1980. - 250 p.
  4. Bø, Olav, red: Guten som snudde på halvskillingen: Eventyr frå Hedmark og Oppland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1981.
  5. Kvideland, Reimund, red: Glunten og Riddar Rev: Eventyr frå Nord-Norge. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1977. - 234 p.
  6. Bø, Olav ed: Guten som tente i tri år for tri skilling. Eventyr frå Telemark 2. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1975. - 216 p.
  7. Alver, Brynjulf, ed: Jomfru Marias gudmorsgåve: Eventyr frå Hordaland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget 1972. - 215 p.
  8. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Kongsdottera i koppartårnet: Eventyr frå Trøndelag. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1970. - 287 p.
  9. Kvideland, Reimund, red: Lita-Frid-Kirsti: Eventyr frå Valdres, Numedal, Hallingdal og nedre Buskerud. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1979.
  10. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Prinsessene som dansa i åkeren: Eventyr frå Rogaland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1967. - 206 p.
  11. Alver, Brynjulf ed: Ridder Skau og jomfru Dame: Eventyr frå Ringerike. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1969. - 242 p.
  12. Alver, Brynjulv, ed: Sunnafor sør og nordafor nord: Eventyr frå Akershus, Vestfold og Østfold. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1976.

Agha: Ashliman, D.: A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. Greenwood. New York, 1987.

Aul: Hall, Calvin. Freuds psykologi. En grundbog. 2. utg. København: Reitzel, 1987.

Bmm: Öman, Victor Emanuel, tr. Baron Münchhausens märkverdiga resor och äfventyr till lands och vatten. Stockholm: C. E. Fritzes Bokhandel, 1875. Online.

Brms: Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Magic Spell. Reprint. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Bsud: Raspe, Rudolf Erich (1737-1794). Baron von Münchausens vidunderlige reiser til lands og til vanns. Oslo: Cappelen, 1976, [The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Reissue collection. London: Dedalus, 1993]

Coe: Bruner, Jerome S. The Culture of Education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996

Dege: Sundland, Egil. "Det var en gang - et menneske" Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag, 1995.

Fmf: Engelstad, Irene. Fortellingens mønstre: En strukturell analyse av norske folkeeventyr. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1976.

Gh: Hjortsø, Leo. Græske guder og helte (Greek Gods and Heroes). 2. utg. Copenhagen: Politiken, 1984.

Hee: Woodward, E. A History of England. London: University Paperback/Methuen, 1965.

Jlc: Sugg, Richard P., ed. Jungian Literary Criticism. Evanston, ILL: Northwestern University Press, 1992.

Moof: Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: University of Texas, 1968.

Ng: Munch, Peter Andreas Norrøne gude- og heltesagn. Rev. ed. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1981. Online English translation

Nov: Bø, Olav, mfl, redr. Norske eventyr. Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1982.

Retr: Hark, Helmut. Religiöse Traumsymbolik. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1980.

Sts: Greimas, Algirdas. Strukturel semantik. Odense: Borgen, 1983.

Thd: Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. London: Rider, 1979.

Ti: Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Vols 1-3. FF Communications No. 284-86, Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004.

Tnn: Brown, Reginald Allen The Normans and the Norman Conquest. 2nd ed. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1969.

Ttf: Aarne, Antti. The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography. Translated and Enlarged by Stith Thompson. 2nd rev. ed. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia / FF Communications, 1961.

Tyno: Hodne, Ørnulf: The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Universitetsforlaget. Bergen, 1984.


Folktales, essays USER'S GUIDE to abbreviations, the site's bibliography, letter codes, dictionaries, site design and navigation, tips for searching the site and page referrals. [LINK]
© 1996–2011, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [E-MAIL]  —  Disclaimer: LINK]