Folklore and fable; Aesop, Grimm, Andersen (1909) edited by Charles William Eliot

Aesop, Grimm, Andersen 

Aesop, Grimm, Andersen



This book contains Aesop Fables that contains stories of Animal and wisdom, Grimm, the german horror stories, and Anderson stories

Excerpt from the introduction:


The habit of telling stories is one of the most primitive characteristics of the human race. The most ancient civilizations, the most barbarous savages, of whom we have any knowledge have yielded to investigators clear traces of the possession of this practice. 


The specimens of their narrative that have been gathered from all the ends of the earth and from the remotest times of which we have written record show traces of purpose, now religious and didactic, now patriotic and political; but behind or beside the purpose one can discern the permanent human delight in the story for its own sake. 

The oldest of stories are the myths: not the elaborated and sophisticated tales that one finds in, say, Greek epic and drama, but the myth pure and simple. This is the answer of primitive science to the question of the barbaric child, the explanation of the thunder or the rain, of the origin of man or of fire, of disease or death. 


The form of such myths is accounted for by the belief known as "animism," which assumed personality in every object and phenomenon and conceived no distinction in the kind of existence of a man, a dog, a tree, or a stone. Such myths are still told among, e. g., the American Indians, and the assumption just mentioned accounts for such features as the transformation of the same being from a man into a log or a fish, or the marriage of a coyote and a woman. Derived from this state of belief and showing signs of their origin, are such animal stories as form the basis of the artistically worked-up tales of "Uncle Remus."
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