Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Maiden on the Glass Mountain

This tale was collected by Jørgen Moe, from Ringerike in Buskerud, in about 1840. Moe was a master of style, and he reworked all the tales he collected until they were as stylistically polished as this one. Fortunately, he allowed structural loose ends to remain. As a result, there are questions we will never have an answer to: why the horses appear when and where they appear, why only one appears at a time, and why they are equipped in the manner they are.

The text is obviously a fairy tale, with a hero, a princess, a king, and knights, and more princes than you could throw a flint steel at; but it is also very clearly rooted in common folklore. When Askeladden throws his flint steel over the horses, he is acting out a widespread belief that the enchantments of the subterraneans may be broken in this manner. Apparently it works, since after he has thrown the steel, he is able to take the horses away from the hay barn.

Click to download glassberget.pdf
Click to download.

(Now with a more more screen-friendly format.)

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