Asbjørnsen og Moe are the Norwegian answers to the Brothers Grimm, the collectors of what is still considered the definitive volume of Norwegian folk tales.

How many of these tales were taken from stories which already existed in written form, and were any of them the first written versions of stories which had previously existed only in oral form?

  • 1
    A good followup question to ask is whether the Brothers Grimm stories were transcribed from oral tradition (spoiler alert: sometimes, and often with mistakes).
    – user111
    Apr 20 '17 at 0:50
  • I'm no expert of Norwegian literature, but Wikipedia says (citing Mette Rudvin) that "The Norwegian pair also collected tales from the field themselves, in contrast to the Grimms." (The paper they cite lives at a dead link. I couldn't find an archive.org backup of the page. ...Google Scholar, however, sent me here)
    – Shokhet
    Apr 20 '17 at 1:02
  • @Shokhet Looks like a very interesting article. You could make a great answer out of that!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 20 '17 at 11:26
  • @Randal'Thor I started writing an answer, but discarded it. Skimming the article, Rudvin doesn't seem to discuss any particular stories. Also, even just using the particular page (I believe it was 26) that WP cited for that claim only works if you'll accept the assumption that "field work" only means oral transmission. (It probably does, but I'm not certain.)
    – Shokhet
    Apr 20 '17 at 13:38

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