Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend (Nordic)
Publisher:University of Minnesota Press | ISBN: 0816615039 | edition 1988 | PDF | 429 pages | 16.3 mb
Today folklore and folklore studies enjoy wide interest both on college campuses and among general readers. A knowledge of our own ethnic background as well as of other traditions broadens our horizons and helps us understand ourselves and the world we live in. This book surveys the folk belief of Scandinavia as manifested in legends, memorates, dites, magic formulas, rite descriptions, and other documents. It demonstrates the remarkable uniformity of folk belief in preindustrial Scandinavia and also notes regional differences. It presents central aspects of the traditional worldview rather than the prose narrative tradition recognized as literature. Consequently folk- tales that represent a concept of supranormal experience different from that of legends and related texts have not been included here. We are currently working on a collection of Scandinavian folktales. To date there exists no collection of legends and other texts cover- ing the folk belief of Scandinavia as a whole. Reidar Th. Christian- sen's Folktales of Norway (1964), Jacqueline Simpson's Icelandic Folktales and Legends (1972), John Lindow's Swedish Legends and Folktales (1978), and John F. West's Faroese Folk-Tales and Legends (1980) limit them- selves to the folktale and legend tradition of the respective countries, and there are no English-language editions of Danish or Swedish- Finnish traditions. In selecting our texts, we have emphasized faithfulness to belief tradition rather than to literary quality. Some of the better-known texts, for example, those published by Peter Chr. Asbj0rnsen during the nineteenth century, have not been included here because they were edited to conform to the literary standards of the time. The majority of texts in this book were gleaned from standard printed sources and some are from folklore archives.