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Norske Folkeeventyr

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Title: Norske Folkeeventyr  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: George Webbe Dasent, Hønefoss, Grottasöngr, Theodor Kittelsen, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Jørgen Moe, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Erik Werenskiold, The Master Maid, The Princess on the Glass Hill
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Norske Folkeeventyr

Norwegian Folktales (Norwegian: Norske Folkeeventyr) is a collection of Norwegian folktales and legends by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe. It is also known as Asbjørnsen and Moe, after the collectors.

Asbjørnsen and Moe

Asbjørnsen, a teacher, and Moe, a minister, had been friends for about 15 years when in 1841 they published the first volume of folktales – the collection of which had been an interest of both for some years. The work's popularity may be attributed to Norway's newly won independence, and the wave of nationalism that swept the country in the 19th century. The authors considered the stories remains of Old Norse mythology, and the period of Norwegian greatness before the union with Denmark.

The written language used in Norway at the time was Danish. Asbjørnsen and Moe thought Danish poorly suited for retelling fairy tales which stemmed from a uniquely Norwegian tradition, and had its sources in local dialects that were even more conservative than they are today. They solved the problem by applying the principles of the Brothers Grimm: using a simple linguistic style in place of dialects, while maintaining the original form of the stories. At the same time the language in the tales also contained many words from Norwegian dialects, which helped toward making a hybrid of older Danish and eastern Norwegian dialects in particular, a language variant that was developed in stages into today's Norwegian bokmål, or "book tongue." Through the later 1800s and the 1900s, bokmål became less Danish through language reforms, and the language of Asbjørnsen and Moe's folk tales followed suit. Their language has been modernized many times. Also, many of these tales were published by Det Norske Samlaget in 1995 in New Norwegian, the most distinctly Norwegian of the two official variants of written Norwegian, and in many cases the language form that comes closest to the tales as recorded by Asbjørnsen and Moe.

The fairy tales of Asbjørnsen and Moe were first released in small pamphlets. Later they were re-published in one collection in 1845 and another in 1848. In 1870 the collection known today was published, and the original language has been retained since then. Later editions of the work were illustrated by the Norwegian artists Erik Werenskiold, Theodor Kittelsen, Otto Sinding and others.[1]

Translation into English

The tales were first translated into English by Sir George Webbe Dasent. His first version of the collection was called Popular Tales from the Norse (1859). In later editions at least thirteen more tales were included. But some tales that were added to Asbjørnsen and Moe's last edition, have not been translated by Dasent.

Asbjørnsen and Moe evidently approved of Dasent's translations: "In France and England collections have appeared in which our tales have not only been correctly and faultlessly translated, but even rendered with exemplary truth and care nay, with thorough mastery. The English translation, by George Webbe Dasent, is the best and happiest rendering of our tales that has appeared."

Fairy tales


External links

  • Norske Folkeeventyr in Norwegian
  • Norske Folkeeventyr audio books in Norwegian
  • English translation of Norske Folkeeventyr: Popular Tales From the Norse translated by George Webbe Dasent, Third Edition, 1888
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