1. Ocean of tales

    This project is a first attempt to study tales on a global scale. Together we will collect tales- told and written- from cultures and authors around the world.

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    Ocean of tales

    A tale is a genre of literature that every one of us is familiar with, probably from our childhood years. The most ancient tales belong in the category of folklore and were passed down orally from generation to generation. These tales are often called folk tales. Later in the history of writing we encounter works of literature, author’s tales, created by (and credited to) a known author(s). Which of these tales do people prefer today? Let’s find out which tales attract us the most in this vast ocean of fantasy writing. We will begin by reviewing the main types of tales; this will help orient us and will provide categories for our research as we navigate this ocean of tales.

    In fairy tales we almost always meet magic- there are wands and dragons, magic rings and flying carpets, capes of invisibility and frightening giants. The action happens in fantastical lands and the main characters meet extraordinary people and have amazing adventures.

    Animal tales are another sort of story. Their principal characters are not human, but can be animals, plants, or other natural phenomena such as wind or rain, or even animated objects like a stone or a gingerbread cookie. The characters in these tales can talk and they behave like humans- they live in houses, work, relax, laugh and cry, quarrel and make up. If a human appears in such a tale his role is no different from that of any other character.

    Everyday tales are usually short and describe simple situations from everyday life. These tales focus on the events of a real or imaginary event. Magic does not happen in these tales and the story often contains comical circumstances.These short stories often poke fun at the deception, greediness, or stupidity of human characters. And, if you encounter animals in everyday tales, they don’t play a key role but rather are found in supporting roles.

    Share a tale you like- maybe the one you consider unusual, or the one you have loved since you were a child, or the one you think everyone should read. The collected materials will serve as a basis for scientific projects in which we investigate the genre of the tale.

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