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Folktales articles, fronted by A TROLL AND PRINCESS
Troll and princess

Folktales Examined

Folklore does not have to be old or antiquated. It continues to be created. Folktales belong to one of the folklore genres.

There are figurative lessons in some fairy tales. Further, some tales contain suggestions on how to make it through life. Getting handling skills fit for life could be involved in some of them. Being warned about ways of cheating and fooling innocents may likewise be involved on many of them. Due to many a humorous tinge, folktales can make for splendid entertainment also.

Some play on too short-sighted desires
that can be in many a young frog
to some alarming future damage.


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)" (in Bø et al 1982, 26).

The opinions of authorities are not wholly unwelcome, but there is something better than opinions. Granted that a measure of reserve is fit for most persons against being taken in, consider the ancient Kalama Sutta.

Certain themes and various other elements of folk ballads and legends are as in folk tales, and some are derived from Norse myths. Many so-called Norwegian folktales are Swedish and German tales also - tales used to be shared among peoples. Moreover, the origins of many tales can be difficult to ascertain.

We also need to know how to deal with fairy tales so as to evaluate them well enough. It may be halfway guessed that much that was thought to be good for grandma, may benefit from being updated, or never be good again.

Plain and succinct language is often good - if 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 in other ways. Poetic language may call for more of the reader.

Find out of real concerns at work where you are or make you living. Sound accommodations to life is an on-going process.



There are past connections between natural forces, Norse Thor, Vikings and trolls.

In folklore, from some trolls we may see how not to behave, and how not to end up a loser. Some trolls are portrayed as cruel, and some as having misplaced feelings, or as heartless. For many humans, becoming troll-like signifies losses of deep, heart-warm humanity.

In folklore, trolls are figures of fancy. Troll traits are a shared heritage in many cultures. Their folklore history goes a long way back.

Later Norwegian trolls of folklore look in part like the landscape itself. In a book on Norse gods and heroes by P. A. Munch (1982), we get glimpses of trolls, maiden with swan wings, and so on, along with old monstrous females that rather likely represent nature's forces. They were at first figurative embodiments somehow, tells Munch (1981, "Tor"). [Norse Mythology (Book)]

Trolls in folklore are at times used as symbols of destructive instincts. They steal milk maidens or human maidens and good spirits . . . By comparison, 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, trows, appear as small malign creatures who dwell in mounds or near the sea.

Trolls appreciate jewels, gold, and silver artifacts, just like Norsemen and Vikings. Nasty trolls can be man-catching neighbours: Viking Norwegians took Swedes for slaves too. They also set up a slave market in Dublin.

Big trolls of Norwegian folklore are in several respects like the ancient Greek Cyclopes that Odysseus fought. Cyclopes are said to have one eye, and to be huge, cruel man-eaters. The Hedale trolls had one eye they shared too, and were huge.

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 Cyclopes and entered a large cave. They did not know that the cave was the dwelling of a one-eyed giant. He 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 hinder folks from travelling or making way.

A Danish insight or hindsight is that a troll may look like a Danish rascal - a bad, even hideous one under the veneer. Lots of "trolls" might be very hard to track down, like some psychopaths - it depends on how well they fit in and how good they are at masking themselves, and on who is on top of the organisation - a troll or a human. (Ramløv 1983, passim; WP, the Canadian documentary, "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power").

In Norway trolls are thought of as living in rather far-away places, deep in woods and in the mountains. Some Norwegians live like that still, in rustic settings. The successful NRK documentary: "Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu (Where not could imagine that anyone could live)" has been running for 16 years by now (2019) (WP, "Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu")

Proverbs and fables rooted in folklore classics

Freudian interpretations are being charged with being overly reductive or simplistic. This was one reason why 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 (1982), shows how basic Jung ideas about dreams and dreaming are applicable to understanding literature, including fairy tales. Compare: [Jung on dreams]

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 Sugg 1982, 168).

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. (Hodne 1984, 14-5). The basic unit in folktales is now recognised as motifs. [ATU numbers grouped]

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. (Öman 1875 and also Raspe 1993, chaps 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. (Uther 2004, 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. (Bruner 1996, 50) [Bruner ideas]

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 that became Rollo. He took over Normandy, and his descendants took over England. Other Normans took over much more. Europe's history contains many events that are central to later several Ashlad tales. [Rollo link]


Vikings become folktale heroes ☼

1. The 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 (Propp 1968; Greimas 1983; Engelstad 1976; Sundland 1995). The ascent of the Viking Rollo (in French) is like that of a fairy tale hero, or the other way round:

  1. After once being banned back in Scandinavia, Rollo makes it by violence a long way from home.
  2. After much turmoil he wins a district large enough to feed him and his men: he gets Normandy in three strides by "impressing" the French King Charles the Simple in a Norse way - and marries a duke's or the French king's daughter or both women - but the sources are rather unclear about it.
  3. Now Rollo and his family after him rule what became the best part of France for a long time.

Rollo and other "northmen" (Scandinavians) settled in Normandy and became 'Normans'. Stories about them were circulated later. One source, Dudo, wrote a Norman "history" about 1020; and on Iceland and the Faroe Islands Rollo is told of in sagas from the 13th century, which are by far older than most collected folktales of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

In The Normans and the Norman Conquest. (1985), the British historian Reginald A. Brown sums up what constitutes the Norman heritage. Below is a little from a chapter in it:

The Normans . . .had their share, which was often the lion's share, in all the achievements and developments of the eleventh century, and most notably by their own conquests, which formed the major part of the whole physical expansion of Western Europe at this time, . . .and helped to bring Greek learning to the West from Arabic and formerly Byzantine Sicily. . . .Vikings in origin and established in their province from 911 by the grant and 'treaty' of St Clair-sur-Epte, they made of Normandy in the next one hundred and fifty years one of the most powerful states in Latin Christendom and the most potent feudal principality in France. Thus established, they conquered the far larger kingdom of England in 1066, and in due course rode out from there into Wales and southern Scotland, and ultimately into Ireland. Overlapping this achievement, and going forward at the same time, was their piecemeal conquest of southern Italy and Sicily, which in some respects was even more remarkable . . .The Norman Conquest of southern Italy and Sicily . . .was the achievement of individual Norman adventurers in one of the most dazzling examples of private enterprise the medieval and modern world has witnessed . . .

The Italian enterprise" began, paradoxically yet characteristically . . .of violence mixed with piety, by pilgrimages, the fashion of the times . . .Norman knights [were] willing to hire their swords to employers who were anxious to benefit from their irrestible military prowess (before them, said a Lombard prince, the enemy were 'as meat to the devouring lion'. . . .[B]y 1071 . . .five years after the Norman Conquest of England, all of southern Italy was under Norman domination. Meanwhile these dusty adventurers from the North had pressed on into Moslem Sicily, whose conquest, begun in 1061, was completed thirty years later. Southern Italy and Sicily thus became, at home in Normandy, the Promised Land for younger sons avid for fiefs . . .[T]he new Norman kings established there, self-made men of near-incredible success, ruled in Oriental splendour over the richest, the most powerful, the most cultured and technically the most advanced state in all Latin Christendom. . . .Spurred on by the lust for land and lordship, the love of fighting and the lure of Mediterranean riches, the Norman knights came flocking to southern Italy, and the chronicler at Montecassino gives us a glimpse of them cantering 'through the meadows and gardens ... happy and joyful on their horses, as they rode up and down to seek their fortunes'. . . .[T]ypical of them all were the brothers Hauteville, who won for themselves the leadership of the enterprise and thus became exceptional only in the enormity of their success. . . .

[T]he conquest of Sicily had chiefly been the work of . . .Roger 'the Great Count', whose son, Roger II, in 1130, having brought all the Norman lordships in Italy under his rule, was crowned and anointed at Palermo king of Sicily, Apulia and Calabria – and as such he, and his descendants after him, remained. . . .There were also, at this time, individual Norman adventurers fighting the Infidel in Spain, and others in the service of the Eastern Emperor against the Turk. . . .[T]he Normans were in the vanguard of the First Crusade, with a powerful contingent from Normandy . . .and another, smaller but even more powerful, from Norman Italy and Sicily . . .Jerusalem was taken from the Infidel in 1099, and meanwhile another Norman lordship was established by Bohemond at Antioch, which characteristically became the strongest and best governed of the Latin states of Outremer.

The eleventh century was in many ways the Norman century, and by the end of it a chain of Norman states had been established from the Atlantic to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, all strong, all efficient, and all ruled by a potent mixture of borrowed institutions, new feudal customs, dynamic energy and religious faith. (Brown 1985, 1-14)

What is a good tale?

The historical Rollo story is not 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 thing to get to grips with.

2. The 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 so-called fiction narratives. 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 13)

Folktales are found to have travelled and can have changed during some travels. (Bø et al. 1982, 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.

3. 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 28) ✪ 

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.


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


Max Lüthi and Rolv Ganger brought together ☼

Professor Max Lüthi points are rendered here:

1. The 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 58)

One of the common motifs is "being shooed" (Bø et al. 1982, 58)

2. Next, winning actions stand out a lot

Like Norse, terse style, common folktales are focused on actions, and they can be remote. (Bø et al. 1982, 57)

3. Very 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 57)

Professor Lüthi also asks what the folktales give the listeners. One hardly knows. (Bø et al. 1982, 58)


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 the Viking Rollo and his men and other Normans later ☼

1. 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 59)

Like good jokes, fine stories from fact and fiction can have a secret, much common function: to lift a bit from trivial surroundings. (Bø et al. 1982, 60)

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

2. Former 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 59)

3. 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 60)


Cherished "worthy guys" create needs among others; needs to be somewhat like them, for example. There are many copy-guys around.


Professor Lutz Röhrich considers ☼

1. Dwarfing ones and sleek strangers of pretences mar good enough living

All folktales connect with some sides inside reality, one way or other. (Bø et al. 1982, 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 Bø et al. 61)
      According to professor Röhrich, the fairy tale may mirror the real world or a social niche inside reality, more or less. (Bø et al. 1982, 61)

2. Horary, 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 Bø et al. 61)

3. Much 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. (Bø et al. 1982, 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, like Henry 8 of England. He beheaded wives. ✪ 


Historical figures may not wear masks of acceptability if the biographers are skilled and fair enough for it. 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. But in some tales the Ashlads kill, steal, and swindle.
  • Resolve the problems they face. But in many tales they are actually helped - by animals and tools and so on
  • The Ashad figure can be the pattern for the other people. Alas: "kills, steals and swindles."
  • The Ashlad is the soul of the folktale, by him it breathes. But most folktales do not tell of Ashlads.
  • Through him light and hope reaches down into the smallest corner of the adventure, he creates freedom and new perspective. But that would depends on which Ashlad - In some tales, maybe so.
  • The Ashlad splits up the routine world and put the items into a new and surprising context But he "kills, steals, swindles" in some tales. Yet in some tales the Ashlad is fair and with an open mind too. Fairy tales compilers and publishers may not have liked the unheroic or dark side of the Ashboy: many such folktales were not published until the late 20th century. (see Norsk eventyrbibliotek)
  • 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 Mind it is an interpretation.
  • 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. But if brothers and sisters are well characterised by swindles, thefts, murders and mockery, Sundland is right. (Sundland 1995, 32-33, 36, 37-38, 68)

So, in some types of folktales the Ashlad is someone who is young, and still steals, swindles, kills and mocks. See 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. In Norsk eventyrbibliotek there are more such material.

The Ashlad character is a manifold character. In some tale types he appears to be good enough, in some there is a mixture of good and bad moral in him, in a few tales he is an example of bad moral - swindling and killing his way. It depends in part on what sort of hero the audience expects - Peik (AT 1542, "The clever boy") swindles and kills, Little Peter does (AT 1535, "The rich and the poor peasant"); the Master Thief does (AT 1525 A-F) - so blunt Ashlad glorification is not really fit and sound. There are good reasons to call the Ashlad figure entertaining and "let it rest there". (See Hodne 1984)

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 the young hero does in AT 328, "The boy steals the giant's treasure".

Also, very many folktales teach that killing villains is just punishment. They are from different times. Nasty executions are not what Human Rights want -

It is better to be aware of such attitude-influencing sides to folktales than glorifying their central character indiscriminately - the Ashlad by so many names - against obvious facts.


Fairy tales and the international multi-media industry ☼

1. 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. (See Zipes 1992, 93-129) (1)

2. To 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. (Zipes 1992, 11, 112)

3. Social 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. (See Zipes 1992, 47-93) (5) (#1.1)


Let vice guys 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 (1992).

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. (Zipes 1992, 11)

Jungian "plunges" into traditional tales can be of great value. (Zipes 1992, 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. (Zipes 1992, 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. (Zipes 1992, 67, 95) (7) ✪ 

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. (See Zipes 1992, 80, 31, 144; Hjortsø 1984) So

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.

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. 

Tales for Urbanites

Many folktales deal with problems of human beings, and some tales offer help in some way or other. Carefully tailored, imaginative or non-fiction literature help children develop soundly. In some cases the help is psychological, says Paul Brudal (1984).

One had better take care not to use psychological interpretations in a reductionist manner.

To satisfy "urban persons" in clear-cut manners requires their interest and builds on top of already known items - that is one relevant conclusion.

Adults may do well to tell the children the tales because that shows approval of children's imaginative play. (Zipes 1992, 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. (Zipes 1992, 169-70)

Basil Bernstein discusses the ramifications of language for the psycho-social development of children, and he makes empirically based distinctions. He has 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, which 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. (Zipes 1992, 168)

Freudian psychoanalytic theory is rooted in this: Surmising can be great help. (Zipes 1992, 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. (Zipes 1992, 163, 169)

Moral concerns in the welfare of children seem to be class-ridden. (See Zipes 1992, 160, 165)

Good, warm tales can be liberating and suggestive through imaginary depiction of such as healthy human rebellion, moral maturity and . . .overwhelming importance. (See Zipes 1992, 161)

"Folk and fairy tales remain an essential force in our cultural heritage." - Jack Zipes. (Zipes 1992, 177) ✪ 


The creative purpose and major themes of the folktales depict several concerns, social structures and alternative forms of behaviour and new developments and connections, August Nitschke is into. 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 thinks, like Paul Brudal (1984), that the well chosen, well performed folktale may liberate the child's subconscious somehow.

Some Decent Folktales Are of Value Still

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 (Propp 1968; Greimas 1983; Engelstad 1976; Bø in Sundland 1995), 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 articles, folklore study, 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.

Brown, Reginald Allen. The Normans and the Norman Conquest. 2nd ed. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1985.

Brudal, Paul. Det ubevisste språket (The Unconscious Language). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1984.

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

Bø, Olav, et al., redr. Norske eventyr. Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1982.

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

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

Hodne, Ørnulf: The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Universitetsforlaget. Bergen, 1984. Hjortsø, Leo. Græske guder og helte (Greek Gods and Heroes). 2. utg. Copenhagen: Politiken, 1984.

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

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

Ramløv, Preben. 1983. Danske folkeeventyr. Copenhagen, DK: Gyldendal.

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]

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

Sundland, Egil. "Det var en gang - et menneske." Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag, 1995. ⍽▢⍽ Plainly over-idealising.

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.

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

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

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