Fairy tales may not come from oral tradition. Fascinating, Capta…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
In the 19th century, Scottish author and clergyman George Macdonald said that he “should as soon think of describing the abstract human face” as attempting to describe a fairy tale. More than 100 years later, scholars are still disputing their origins, with the latest clash arising over a new claim that, far from being passed down through an oral tradition, fairy tales actually have their history in print.
Ruth B Bottigheimer, a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, disputes the idea that fairy tales were handed down orally through generations until “19th and 20th-century folklorists hearkened to peasants’ words” and they were transformed into literature by the likes of the Brothers Grimm. “It has been said so often that the folk invented and disseminated fairy tales that this assumption has become an unquestioned proposition. It may therefore surprise readers that folk invention and transmission of fairy tales has no basis in verifiable fact,” she writes in her new book, Fairy Tales: A New History. “Literary analysis undermines it, literary history rejects it, social history repudiates it, and publishing history (whether of manuscripts or of books) contradicts it.”
I’m not sure if it’s the mention of fairy tales or the mind-numbing content of this article, but I’m feelin’ sleepy!