"Det var en gang ...": Skildringer av liv og samfunn i Asbjørnsen og Moes folkeeventyr og eventyrillustrasjoner som en refleksjon av norsk kulturnasjonalisme
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- Master theses 
This thesis aims to analyze how the folk tales collected and published by the Norwegian folklorists Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe depicts a society and its institutions, daily life and the supernatural. Furthermore, it aims to shed a light on how these depictions have been interpreted and reimagined by Norwegian artists in some illustrated collections, beginning with the first from the nineteenth century, up until 2013. Asbjørnsen and Moe’s first folk tale collection was published between 1841 and 1844, as a part of a major romantic nationalist movement which shaped Norwegian culture and society in the middle of the nineteenth century. This movement was defined by a wish to renew the Norwegian golden age found in Norse culture from the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, which the peasantry was seen as the culture bearers, and looked at for inspiration. The first collection of folk tales was collected from Norwegian peasantry, and therefore often depict stories that takes inspiration from the daily lives of the Norwegian Peasantry, as well as more fantastical elements. The stories have been seen as emulating the perceived personality of the Norwegian people as a successful underdog, and gained traction in the Norwegian society, and is seen as a key part of national identity and children’s literature today. Between 1879 and 1887, the first major illustrated collections were published, drawn by Norwegian painters and artists, which added a visual aspect to the folk tales. These illustrations, like the folk tales themselves, gained traction, and is often seen in new editions to this day due to their success. Moreso than the original textual folk tales, the illustrations take a clear inspiration from Norwegian mountains and forests, vernacular clothing or folk costumes, and log construction, including associations to stave churches. As newer collections of folk tales have been published with new illustrations, the depictions of the illustrations have also developed. On one side, the first illustrations have formed a strong tradition for later illustrators to be inspired by, which idealizes Norwegian culture, traditions and lifestyle. On the other hand, there are collections which emphasize bringing something new and refreshing to the genre and/or stray from the established tendencies and traditions.