Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fairy tale
(1,957 words)

1. Definition

The term “fairy tale” denotes a story, which may be short or long and transmitted orally or in writing, that takes place in a world removed from the ordinary reality of space and time and its causal order, and that makes no claim to believability. It may contain motifs specific to a culture or common to many cultures. The status of non-reality crucial to the establishment of a “fairytale” atmosphere (going beyond the bounds of fairy tale as a genre) has, over the long reception history of the concept…

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Mayer, Mathias, “Fairy tale”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023693>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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