Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The StoryTellers Asbjørnsen and Moe

The storytellers

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was a Norwegian writer and scholar. He and Jørgen Moe were collectors of Norwegian folklore. They were so closely united in their lives' work that their folk tale collections are commonly mentioned only as "Asbjørnsen and Moe"

Asbjørnsen as early as 1832, in his twentieth year, began to collect and write down fairy tales and legends. He later walked on foot the length and breadth of Norway, adding to his stories. Moe first met Asbjørnsen when he was fourteen years old, while they were both attending high school at Norderhov rectory. They developed a life-long friendship. In 1834 Asbjørnsen discovered that Moe had started independently on a search for national folklore; the friends eagerly compared their results, and determined for the future to work together. Moe traveled almost every summer through the southern parts of Norway, collecting traditions and folklore in the mountains. Often Asbjørnsen and Moe traveled together. In 1842-1843 the first installment of their work appeared, under the title of Norske Folkeeventyr (Norwegian Folk Tales), which was received at once all over Europe as a most valuable contribution to comparative mythology as well as literature.  

Asbjørnsen, and Moe had an enormous impact on Norwegian culture. They became synonymous with traditional folk tales, the way the name Brothers Grimm is associated with German tales. Not only did they collect and secure parts of the wealth of Norwegian fairy tales and edit them for common readers, but in doing this, they also contributed to the development of the Norwegian language.

Tomorrow, I start telling their stories.

9 comments:

Laura said...

Hi there, interesting post - really looking forward to the first of your tales
Lx

Melissa Bradley said...

I love these two already and can't wait to hear some of their tales. What a fascinating tale they have. I can't imagine walking the all over a country to learn it's foltales. Sounds wonderful, but difficult.

Jeff said...

Now those are my kind of guys...story tellers :-) Let the stories begin !

shelly said...

I'll be back tomorrow. Have great day!

Craziness abounds said...

Nice! I'm pretty excited to read these. It's one of my favorite things to read. Great post!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, this is fun! Wouldn't that be a great life's work... travel around and find story tellers to tell their local lore... document it so you can preserve your culture for perpetuity? THIS pair of people did good!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Nice introduction into the talents of these two honorable men.

I am so looking forward to the first tale!

Marjorie said...

I love Asbjornsen and Moe! I especially love Soria Moria Castle and The Boy who met the Trolls in Hedale woods. I know I slaughtered the spellings on those story names and I don't have the "o" with the line through it.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Editing the works for common readers was both commendable and of great value to Norway. I look forward to reading the tales.