Danish Folktales, Legends, and Other Stories

Edited by Timothy R. Tangherlini
Translated by Timothy R. Tangherlini

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  • $50.00s hardcover (9780295992594) Add to Cart
  • Published: 2013
  • Subject Listing: Scandinavian Studies; Literature / Poetry
  • Bibliographic information: 280 pp., 6 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: Not Avail Uk, Eire, Cont Eur
  • Series: New Directions in Scandinavian Studies
  • Contents

Danish Folktales, Legends, and Other Stories is a collection of translated and annotated Nordic folklore that presents full repertoires of five storytellers along with extensive archival material. The printed book presents some of the most compelling stories of these five important storytellers along with historical and biographical introductions. Of a length suitable for course use, it provides a substantive and enjoyable encounter with Danish folklore. The Danish Folklore Nexus on the accompanying DVD includes the storytellers' full repertoires plus 500 additional stories in both Danish and English along with essays on the changing political, social, and economic landscapes of nineteenth-century Denmark, the history of folklore scholarship, critical approaches to folklore, and comprehensive biographies of the storytellers. It also provides links between related stories and interactive maps that allow readers to see where the stories are set and where they were collected, and a mechanism to search for themes and topics across all the stories.

The basis of the work is the collection of Evald Tang Kristensen (1843-1929). As a young schoolteacher Kristensen set out across Denmark to collect the folktales, ballads, legends, and stories that he saw as the vestiges of a disappearing folk culture. Over the course of five decades he collected thousands of stories and kept detailed biographical notes about the storytellers he met.

Watch the trailer:
Timothy Tangherlini is professor of folklore and chair of the Scandinavian Section at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Key to Story References, Abbreviations, and Measurements

1. "Bitte Jens" Kristensen: Cobbled Together
2. Kirsten Marie Pedersdatter: Between Farm and Smallholding
3. Jens Peter Pedersen: Day Laborer and Turner
4. (Ane) Margrete Jensdatter: Old Age and Rural Poverty
5. Peder Johansen: Miller, Fiddler, Bachelor Storyteller

How to Use the Digital Content
Works Cited
Evald Tang Kristensen's Published Works
Topic Index
General Index

"A fascinating, cohesive, and timely book. After a full, informative introduction, Tanghlerini gives us generous selections from five of Tang Kristensen's most productive tales rendered into fluent, vigorous, sometimes salty American-English."
-Paul Binding, Times Literary Supplement, October 4 2013

"An exceptional addition to the "New Directions in Scandinavian Studies" series, this collection consists of two complementary components: a printed book that stands alone as an introduction to and exploration of Danish folklore, and comprehensive digital content stored on an accompanying DVD. . .This useful two-faceted work should generate much interest in multiple disciples, particularly Scandinavian and/or folklore. Recommended."

"A seminal work of truly impressive scholarship throughout. Erudite, extraordinarily well written, and very strongly recommended for academic library Folktale and Folklore collections."
-Jack Mason, Midwest Book Review

" the credit of Tangherlini, we now know that there is even more to be uncovered from the nineteenth century that might provide us with greater cultural and historical understanding of how common people reacted to social change and forged traditions of storytelling that we continue to shape, although we may be unaware of the role we are playing."
-Jack Zipes, Folklore