marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

fairy tales from India

Two old collections, the second of which even cites the first when discussing the tales:  Folk-Tales of Bengal by Lal Behari Day and Indian Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs.

A number of these will be recognizable to readers familar with European fairy tales as tale types, but little more than that.  The differences are plentiful, of which the easiest to note is that the kings habitually have more than one wife, which sometimes goes well and sometimes badly.  Indeed, only one tale is recognizable as a tale known in modern pop culture; "The Match-making Jackal" is a form of "Puss In Boots."

Some of the stuff has been translated idiomatically, though less in Day, who, for instance, has a number of Rakshasas, than in Jacobs.

They both have a story about The Boy with the Moon on his Forehead, but though you can recognize the common type, it's not the same tale.

In Jacob's, I particularly liked "The Boy with the Moon on his Forehead," but I think I liked Day's better.  In Day's, I particularly liked "The Story of the Rakshasas", "Life's Secret," and "The Bald Wife." I also liked "The Story of Prince Sobur" though I think it helped that I read a variant of it before, because when the father, King Lear like, goes to ask his daughters, "By whose fortune do you get your living?" I knew that by "fortune" was meant "fate" or "destiny."
Tags: fairy tale reviews, fiction reviews: pre-20th century

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