In this book, first published in 1987, Wolfgang Mieder follows the intriguing trail of some of the best known pieces of folk literature, tracing them from their roots to modern uses in advertising, journalism, politics, cartoons, and poetry. He reveals both the remarkable adaptability of these tales and how each variation reflects cultural and historical changes. Fairy tales, legends, folk songs, riddles, nursery rhymes, and proverbs are passed from generation to generation, changing both in form and meaning with each use. This book will be of interest to students of literature.
Introduction; 1. Grim Variations: From Fairy Tales to Modern Anti-Fairy Tales 2. The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Origin, History, and Survival of the Legend 3. Modern Variants of the Daisy Oracle: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not 4. The Proverb in the Modern Age: Old Wisdom in New Clothing 5. The Proverbial Three Wise Monkeys: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil 6. History and the Interpretation of a Proverb about Human Nature: Big Fish Eat Little Fish; Notes; Bibliography; Index
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