Tales of magic, tales in print

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.

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