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On the genealogy of fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm

Since the beginning of the nineteenth century folklorists, and the general public in their wake, have assumed the orality of fairy tales. This book takes an extreme position in that debate: as far as Tales of magic is concerned, the initial transmission proceded exclusively through prints. It displays the conception, ancestry and offspring of the Golden Bird dwells on the construction of the story type, the way the story found its way into the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Kinder- und Hausmärchen. In the book Magician and His Pupil in which superficially magic is conquered by magic, moreover provides a counterbalance to the, at least within Europe, much more widespread warning about the dangers of occult knowledge. The possibility of a connection between Jack and the Beanstalk and a shamanistic World Tree had occurred because of the Dutch story of a Great Ship with a mast reaching into a never-never land. The Sky High Tree offers not only an example of a post-Grimm fairy tale recorded from oral presentations, it also serves the purpose of tackling the question of the age of fairy tales from a slightly different angle. The book also discusses the main problems of fairy tale research: variation, orality and, in the story's reincarnation as The Healing Fruits, the concept of the conglomerate tale. A historical approach to fairy tales has profound consequences for the organisation of one of folklore's main methodological tools, the tale-type index.

A prologue
Willem de Blécourt

One of the seeds that germinated into this book was planted at the end of the 1980s. After finishing my research on five hundred years of witchcraft accusations in a small province of the Netherlands, I finally found the time to read Manfred Grätz’s thesis, Das Märchen in der deutschen Aufklärung (The Fairy Tale in the German Enlightenment), about the reception of

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Willem de Blécourt

after the original Hungarian, Dégh confessed that the stories she had collected seemed ‘even more influenced by literary fairy tales than I suggested or could document in this book’. The Kakasd corpus as a whole, although part of an oral practice, could only have ‘persisted because of printed materials’. 13 ‘Aunt Zsuzsa’ was nevertheless an accomplished (and later

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Abstract only
Towards a theory of talecraft
Willem de Blécourt

Bible) with a Zaubermärchen and to consider every ‘magical’ story within same category. As was mentioned in the discussion of the Magician and His Pupil, genuine magic books were considered to be dangerous. It was not just that the spirits and demons were difficult to control; the owner of a magic book had forfeited his soul. In the nineteenth-century version of the fairy tale, on the other hand, the

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Willem de Blécourt

A Russian fairy tale The ballet The Firebird , with music by Igor Stravinsky, was first performed in Paris in 1910. At the time the fairy tale components of its scenario were all thought to be truly and typically Russian: the hero Prince Ivan, the firebird herself, the deathless wizard king Koshchay, the garden with the dancing princesses, and the magic feather. While the

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Willem de Blécourt

Magic flight stories The practice of recording stories related orally started with the brothers Grimm. They were also among the first to annotate their texts, pointing to parallels and predecessors of a particular tale. Fairy tale collecting and research owes its very existence to them. In assessing their texts, however, it makes a difference what kind of authenticity is

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Willem de Blécourt

Grammaticus, where a hair is taken from a giant as a souvenir. This corroborated their opinion that ancient notions, derived from mythology, were involved in fairy tales. 3 Ever since folklorists have called stories that resembled this one after the version with the devil. The story of the quest for the devil’s hairs, however, is an early nineteenth-century invention; there is no previous

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Geraldine Cousin

imaginings of real-life traumatised children around the world, which the director spent 12 months researching’. The cast included ‘a ghostly omnipresent chorus of “lost children”, black-clad performers each wearing a photographic mask of a grinning baby’. 74 Playing for time A dark version of another well-known fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, underlay Bryony Lavery’s Frozen, first performed on 1 May 1998 at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Lavery uses elements of the fairy tale as pegs on which to hang her portrayal of a mother’s quest for her lost daughter. Her

in Playing for time
Willem de Blécourt

oldest time’. These mythical elements ‘resembled little pieces of a broken gem, lying shattered on a ground overgrown with grass and flowers, only to be discovered by a sharp eye’. 57 Earlier, in the introduction to the 1819 volumes, in an essay which is most elucidating on his view on fairy tales, he had compared a story’s form to a plant, ‘whose shoots and twigs emerge in a different direction every

in Tales of magic, tales in print
Anna Maguire Elliott

Woods”’ (54). The fear of being alone in the woods draws on this mythic fairy tale, as well as others like ‘Hansel and Gretel’. In these morality tales, popular in the nineteenth-century household, the woodland is where an orphan might be stolen by an unstable adult and mothers warn of the dangers of disobeying the expectations of good behaviour set within the home. 3 Robinson thus highlights the traditional separation of the domestic ideal from the contrasting, threatening landscape, but also emphasises this dichotomy

in Marilynne Robinson