1543.06 - Folk Literature II

Course number
Folk Literature II
To provide the student with a fundamental insight into the oral narrative tradition (fairy tales and legends) and to afford an opportunity to analyze and understand this tradition.
Fairy tales are known to exist in all languages and among all peoples. The oldest extant story is from the 7th century B.C. The earliest evidence of Nordic fairy tales dates from around 1200. The fairy tale historically was a short oral narrative, but today in our part of the world fairy tales are for the most part written and date back to the 1800s and 1900s. The largest group of fairy tales is the so-called magical fairy tales and these form the bulk of the material studied in the course. The course focuses on exploring the structure and interpretation of fairy tales. Various magical fairy tales are studied in an effort to determine how best to understand these tales from a cultural and psychological perspective. Legends are locally or regionally based oral narratives in a realistic style. These poetical narratives have special characteristics and motifs that reflect the respective geography, language and culture of the region. Even though bearing a realistic style, the stories are characterized by improbable and unrealistic content, where people's superstitions and magic play a major role. The legend narratives are partly living oral history, while the fairy tales of today are comprised of compilations written and otherwise recorded over the last 200 years. The course shall explore the stories in their cultural context and shall attempt to delineate the characteristics of these stories as a type of epic oral history. The collection of Jakob Jakobsen, Færøske Folkesagn og Æventyr, is the most important source of Faroese fairy tales and Faroese legends. Reading List The student shall be responsible for around 50 pages of fairy tales and around 50 pages of legends. Recordings or other media can form a part of the required reading list. Theoretical reading shall be the equivalent of three scholarly works.
Learning and teaching approaches
2 lectures per week over the course of 2 terms.
Assessment method
Six-hour written exam or a paper on a subject of the student's choice. External examiners.