German Fairy Tales

(3634 words)
  • Ruth B. Bottigheimer

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


Conventional wisdom and traditional conviction have long held that German fairy tales emerged from the folk in the deep and unspecified past. Despite the absence of evidence that this was so, the presence of a commonly known body of fairy tales served to define German-speakers as a “Volk” (people). These sentiments were codified by late eighteenth-century literary theorists in the terms in which they understood folk literature (Volkspoesie); were built upon by Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm in the early nineteenth century as they theorized about the fairy and folk tales, riddles, and other examples of oral tradition they were gathering; were relied on by later nineteenth-century …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Bottigheimer, Ruth B.. "German Fairy Tales". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1487, accessed 01 September 2015.]


Related Groups

  1. Literary Genres and Modes