Questions tagged [folk-tales]

Questions about folktales or folk tales, i.e. stories that have been orally passed down from generation to generation. For myths and legends, use the [myths] tag.

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9
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2answers
677 views

Why do many Korean folk tales start with “back when tigers smoked”?

I've read in a few sources that the Korean equivalent of the "once upon a time ..." which often begins English folk stories is something like "back when tigers smoked ..." or "...
2
votes
1answer
19 views

What is the original Korean title of “The Tiger and the Persimmon”?

This short Korean folk story has been variously translated into English: The Tiger and the Persimmon Tiger and Dried Persimmon The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons The Tiger and the Dried Persimmon I ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Why are so many fairy tales so similar?

In Europe, fairytales have various different names of the same story, or variants. One example of this is Charles Perrault's Cinderella ("Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre") and the much ...
4
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0answers
23 views

“This Is Water” David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech Fish Story Reference

In David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water" Commencement Speech, there is a story used as a metaphor about a fish asking another fish "what the hell is water": There are these two young fish swimming ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Source for the Stages of Drunkenness resembling sheep, lion, ape, sow?

While researching various levels of drunkenness, at the Online Etymology Dictionary site I found a statement that medieval folklore recognized four successive stages of it, in which drinkers resembled ...
3
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0answers
53 views

Looking for the title of a folklore which was about moon princess being jealous of her sister sun princess

I read this short story back in middle school during my literature class when we were studying about folklore. It was about a moon princess being jealous of her sister sun princess so much that she ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

How familiar would the “Blind men and an elephant” tale be in the West?

I am translating my article to English, which heavily uses the Blind men and an elephant tale. Since the metaphor is important, I wonder how it would be perceived in the West, especially in the US. Do ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Are there significant differences across the Nordic countries in the traditional portrayal of trolls?

Trolls are a common feature of Scandinavian folklore - and possibly also of those of the wider Nordic region, Finland and Iceland as well as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, although I'm not sure about ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What was “Rip Van Winkle” based on?

I was recently surprised to discover that the story of Rip Van Winkle is credited to the US author Washington Irving, who published it in 1819. I'd always vaguely imagined it to be a Brothers Grimm ...