Genre of a literary fairy tale

The word “fairy tale” appeared in Russian in the seventeenth century. For four centuries, the meaning of the term has changed, and now it stands for a literary work of an epic nature. The plot of this work is fiction-oriented. It can contain elements of real life, sometimes even a lot, but with the characters happen events that in reality can not be. It is customary to distinguish folklore and literary tales.

What is the difference between a literary tale and folklore?

The main difference is the ways of distribution. Of course, now people often find folk tales in books. But, before appearing on paper, a folklore tale goes a long way. It is recounted from mouth to mouth, sometimes it lasts for many centuries. Then there is a collector of folklore, which writes and processes it.

A literary tale has a completely different fate. Of course, it can be connected with some sort of folklore story, but the writer composes and writes it, and it reaches the readers immediately in the form of a book. The folklore tale originated before the literary. One of its functions was the upbringing of the younger generation, so in the folklore fairy tale, as a rule, the didactic element is clearly...pronounced. This is also characteristic of a literary tale. The expression “A Tale is a lie, but in it a hint, a good fellows lesson” rather accurately determines one of the main purposes of this genre.

Genres of the literary fairy tale

Like any author’s work, a literary tale can have one of three basic constructions. Distinguish prosaic, poetic and dramatic designs. A bright representative of the prosaic literary tale was, for example, G.-H. Andersen. In this genre also worked VF Odoevsky, and A. Lindgren, as well as many other excellent authors of children’s and adult books.

Fine examples of poetic fairy tales were left by AS Pushkin. An example of a dramatic tale is Twelve Months by S. Ya. Marshak. At the same time, the authors of literary tales do not always take as their basis folklore subjects. For example, in Astrid Lindgren or Tuve Jansson, the stories are original and have no analogues in folk art, while “Mother Goose Goes” by Charles Perrault are based on folk subjects.

The subjects of author’s tales can be divided into three groups: epic, lyrical and dramatic. There are cases when the author, writing a literary fairy tale, does not stop there, develops his plan and creates an authorized epic.


Genre of a literary fairy tale