Monday, September 2, 2019
The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe, Tiina Nunnally
University of Minnesota Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this story for review (thank you). It will be published September 17th.
Most of these stories involve a good person who runs into a bad person. There are a lot of troll stories. There are talking animals. There are thieves. There is a Cinderella-like story.
My favorite character was Ash Lad. His two older brothers tell the King he's said outrageous statement. So the King tells Ash to do it. If he succeeds, he'll get the princess and half the kingdom. He does it but his brothers have come up with another impossible chore for him. After many trials and tribulations, he finishes the tasks and gets the princess and half the kingdom. Then he gets even with his brothers... He wins so many kingdoms and princesses that he must be exhausted keeping up with them!
They are all good stories. The kings all think they are sly, but they are not. Some of the characters fool trolls. Some of the trolls have more than one head. There are a lot heads lopped off in these stories.
I found the stories entertaining even if a bit bloody in spots. And Nunnally’s informative Translator’s Note places the tales in a biographical, historical, and literary context for the twenty-first century.
This is not just folktales; it's history.