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Monday, December 28, 2009

What is an Aarne-Thompson classification?


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: Aarne Thompson

Why: In the SurLaLune Fairy Tales article about the History of Cinderella:
The tale has its own Aarne Thompson classification which is 510A.
Answer: The Aarne-Thompson classification system is a system for classifying folktales! Finnish folklorist Antti Aarne first published his historic-geographic method of comparitive folkloristics in 1910, and American Stith (Stith?) Stith Thompson translated it in 1928 and expanded it in 1961.
The Aarne-Thompson system catalogues some 2500 basic plots from which, for countless generations, European and Near Eastern storytellers have built their tales. As Europeans and Near-Easterners travelled to the New World, the Far East, Africa, and other distant places, their tales migrated as well, often flourishing in their new environments. Hence, the Aarne-Thompson system encompasses tales found around the world.
Some include:
  • The Clever Fox 1–69
  • Supernatural Helpers 500–559
  • The Obstinate Wife Learns to Obey 900–909
  • Contest between Man and Ogre 1060–1114
  • Jokes about Clergymen and Religious Figures 1725–1849
Source: Wikipedia

The More You Know: Stith? Rachem? Bort?

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