marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Folktales of Greece

Folktales of Greece by Georgios A. Megas

An interesting collection of tales.  Divided up by time, leading with Animal Tales, ending with Legends, and the four middle sections  holding the fairy tales along with the jokes and the tales of fools.  With notes at the end about how it was collected and what sorts of tales types they are.

Many are familiar, though with a local flavor, and a good number of unusual tales.  You get tales like "Anthousa the Fair with the Golden Hair", which is a variant of Rapunzel much closer to the "Girl Helps the Hero Flee" type than Rapunzel itself.  You get "Master Semolina" where the rescued man had in fact been made by the heroine, mostly out of flour, and brought to life by her prayers before he gets abducted for a classic East of the Sun, West of the Moon tale.  You have the kind and unkind girls -- actually widows with children -- meeting up with the Twelve Months in human form.  (The correct route is to praise every month in its place.)  "The Crab" has the heroine lose her husband by telling her mother the truth, but instead of the usual quest, what she does is set up an inn and listen to the travelers; it's when one tells her a tale that sounds like her husband that she set outs.

Or unique ones.  Like "The Ill-Fated Princess" who must leave home because her Fate is affecting her sister, and her eventual ending stems from tracking down where the Fate lives and begging for mercy from hers. . .

Full of good tales.
Tags: fairy tale reviews

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