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Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend
Here is a rich compendium of hundreds of legends, stories, beliefs, and magic collected from oral sources in preindustrial Scandinavia. In this rural society, the people lived close to nature and believed themselves an integral part of it. This volume focuses on beliefs that illustrate the central aspects of a traditional worldview, rather than on prose narratives consider ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published February 11th 1991 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
(first published January 1989)
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A great collection of translated folklore from the Scandinavian countries, with notes. Most of the collection is from the 18th and 19th centuries, so the "folk-tellers" themselves are obscured. But the editors show close attention to context, such that can be found. Moreover, they include the archive sources for every piece, so one can find the pieces in the orginal languages. I enjoyed peaking into the religious beliefs - how strange and how distant I feel from them. The book reinforces the dif ...more
again, more research. i got the most use out of the chapter & section notes, but there were some rly great stories in this one. most of the stuff about ghosts i'd already found in the jacqueline simpson book, but i got a lot of great info about witches & magic in this one.
Feb 05, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
This book, along with Reidar Th. Christiansen's Folktales of Norway, is probably the best book I've encountered for Scandinavian folklore. Like Christiansen's book, it deals with legends, but unlike it, it has no folktales whatsoever. Including a wide variety of legends from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and the Faroese Islands, Kvideland's and Sehmsdorf's translation of tales covers a wide breadth of themes, motifs and origins, exploring their cultural backgrounds, distributions, a ...more
Written for an academic readership, this book boils down old tales and legends to the barest of outlines, compressing epics (or at least fully realized tales) into paragraph-long riffs. It's an incredible way to warehouse a tremendous volume of lore and legends, and it makes for fascinating reading.