Fairy tales v. folktales

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Fairy tales v. folktales

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kesäkuu 1, 2014, 11:19 am

As a tag on LT, 'fairy tales' (57,471 uses) is about 4.5 times more popular than 'folktales' (12,214 uses). But there is a considerable cross-over, including Grimm's complete fairy tales, at no. 1 for both tags.

I'm just wondering whether members of this group differentiate between fairy tales and folktales?

Wikipedia says (edited down): "A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features European folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, witches, mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. // In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending) or "fairy tale romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any farfetched story or tall tale; it is used especially of any story that not only is not true, but could not possibly be true."

Is this how members use 'fairy tales'? European tales with an element of magic or similar that could not possibly be true? If so, is it time-limited, or are, e.g. The Quest of the Holy Grail, Mabinogion and Beowulf admitted into the fold?

What about non-European tales with an element of magic or similar, such as Tales from 1001 nights, Monkey, Inanna or Epic of Gilgamesh?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 2014, 11:54 am

Terms such as Myth; Legend;Fable ; Folk tale,Fairy tale are interchangeable and I will tagged the books accordingly. I believe there are no hard rules to the choice of tagging.


Another interesting term, Fantasy, it is genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomenon as a primary plot element,theme or setting. The setting are in medieval periods.

kesäkuu 1, 2014, 12:45 pm

Personally I try to use the tag "fairy tale" for tales that include a fairy or fairies, "Faerie" for tales with fairies who are clearly aliens and not just hanging around to do nice things for humans, and "folktales" or "folklore" for collections of tales from the folk like the Grimm's.

The problem comes with things like Hans Christian Andersen. He made up his stories. Some have fairies, some don't, but they're not folktales. So I'm kind of at a loss about what to do with those, especially the ones I haven't read. So "fairy tale" sometimes gets attached to something that doesn't have a fairy.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 2014, 11:16 pm

By interpretation of fairy tales can be related beyond the stories of elves, fairies, goblins,giants,dwarves,supernatural beings , genie,super heroes, half human/half creature's character- mermaids and etc.

I understand that " fairy tales " can be related to animals (make to behave like humans), fictional characters or persons, entities and etc.

Cinderella - Person

Jumbo - Animal

Shrek - Fictional Character

I will tagged Aesop's Fables as "fables", Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm's Brothers stories books as "fairy tales" and it all depends on your choice of tagging for "easy to find" the books from your home library's book shelves.

Tagging is for our convenience and preference unless the library is for public borrowing and reading. Careful consideration are usually given to tagging or cataloguing the books.