Asbjørnsen and Moe

 

We have long traditions with fairy tails in Norway, and for centuries our unique stories have been told from generation to generation.  In the 1852 Asbjørnsen and Moe published their first collection of folk tales. The large number of new editions and new selections from Asbjørnsen and Moe's collections have become the classic expression of the Norwegian folktale tradition. 

Asbjørnsen and Moe met for the first time at school when they were 13-14 years old.  The tow class mates became very good friends, and they shared a common interest about fairytales, songs and legends.  Asbjørnsen made up his mind to collect as many folktales as possible, and the to young gentlemen decided to cooperate with this project.  They wrote down everything they were told while visiting different villages in Norway, and shared it with with each other and worked with the material until they were satisfied.  It was a difficult task to retell the stories in writing since Danish was the only written language in Norway in that time period. The stories were told in Norwegian dialects, and since Asbjørnsen and Moe wanted to remain true to their sources, we find a lot of dialect expressions in their books.  Due to the popularity of their books, they played an important role in influencing the Norwegian written language form the strictly Danish written language.  Later their books got brilliant illustrations, and they now represent the Norwegian folktales, both in Norway and abroad. 

 

===> The Troll Collector's Corner

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen

(1813-1882)

Jørgen Moe (1812-1885)