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A manual in understanding troll – U is for Undereventyr #117 #AZChallenge

“Undereventyr” is the Norwegian name for wondertale. Most of the folktales with troll goes under the type of folktale called wondertale. A wondertale is usually ”a long story”, with one main protagonist who has to solve a quest, travels and get help from good helpers. Personally I would say that Joseph Campbell’s ”The hero with 1000 faces” and the template from that book, would resemble what we call a wondertale. In my experience as a storyteller I would say that a wondertale is popular to tell, but not to listen to. The story has a good discourse or dramaturgy on the ”text” level, but it is hard to tell because of its length and the elements that are repeated. It demands an truly dedicated artist to do it.

What can a wondertale tell us today? The very romantic view you get by reading Bettleheim and the like, is a Freudian psychoanalytic vision on man’s inner powers. A wondertale give us insight about ourselves, it talks the inner symbolic language. Or if you are a jungianer, it speaks the same language as dreams. It’s not quite my style. For me this is like a lullaby for romantics. There is also a laziness in it, why should one adapt a folktale if it looks at man as something static which always will struggle with the same internal forces. Nor am I of those who believe that we should completely modernize a folktale.

But I think that folktale must specify the social and societal context in which it is placed in. It takes place a tragedy in Europe these days, people fleeing drown in the sea because they so desperately wants a life with hope. Some will think it is grotesque that I then think that folktale “The town musicians of Bremen” is currently a topical story. But it addresses some of the same basic elements: you leave your home because you wish for something better. You leave home because you know staying will probably end your own life. What with troll then? Well, the troll has a function within the frame of a story, without the story there is no troll. So depending on the story, the troll could also be contemporary.

Historieforteller / April 24, 2015 / En manual i å forstå troll / 0 Comments

Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Skogtroll,_1906_(Forest_Troll)

A manual in understanding troll – T is for troll #116 #AZchallenge

Much of the Norwegians understanding of troll is based on illustrations by Kittelsen. Some have alleged that he has colored our perception of troll once and for all. Here are illustrations made by Kittelsen. All illustrations are taken from wikimedia.

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Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Sjøtrollet,_1887_(The_Sea_Troll)
Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Skovtrold_(1899)

I 2010 a brilliant movie called Trollhunter premiered, it is a brilliant movie that plays with the idea of troll. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. And you can find similarties on the idea of the troll from Kittelsen in that movie.

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Historieforteller / April 23, 2015 / En manual i å forstå troll / 1 Comment

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A manual in understanding troll – S is for Sun #115 #AZchallenge

As I was flying home from Poland on Saturday evening I could follow the sun ”going down” over an endless sea of clouds.

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In folktales the sun is called virgin or maiden. This name because the troll has an extra fondness for young women decorated with gold. If the troll is about to seize you an early morning, you must try to hold out until you can see the sun’s red line on the horizon and as it rises in the sky, you should say to the troll “Look at the maiden behind you.” The troll can not restrain himself, it must look and as it turns and looks at the sun, he bursts or turn to stone.

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Strangely it is that several folk tales and myths warns you to turn and see what is behind you. Where does this motif comes from? As a child I remember walking home in the dark and imagined all sorts troll walking behind me, I would not turn to see, because what if the troll really was there?

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Also, then you have this motif with ”the gaze”, this ”Medusa gaze” that transforms you into stone. Is it so that if we look back can cause us to be stucked in the past?

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Historieforteller / April 22, 2015 / En manual i å forstå troll / 0 Comments

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A manual in understanding troll – R is for Ran #114 #AZchallenge

You might remember that I in an earlier post wrote about gygre, a common name used for female troll and giant. Personally the most interesting gygre you find in Norse mythology, and I think one could write a whole book about these female giants. Ran is one of them. Let me tell something about her in a more narrativ form:

Ran was a gracious hostess at her husband’s feast. Her husband, a giant with power over the sea had ever so often feasts where gods and giants were invited as guests. His home was the home of peace, nobody could fight or argue with weapons. When she was not a hostess, she asked their lovely daughters to cover themself in transparent veil, to travel out on the ocean and lure the seafarers. The seafarers who saw the beautiful sight of women moving into the sea, 9 in all, were lost in the beauty of the beautiful and abruptly caught by Ran’s powerful fishing net that she threw over them. They drowned, embraced in beauty and in her net.
When the world was new, created out of the giant Ymir, Odin took a walk along the ocean. He came to a place where he saw nine women play in the water. The women were beautiful. And Odin stood there looking at them. So beautiful it was that Odin with his mere mind made the nine women pregant.
The nine women became pregnant and gave birth together to one only son. The son was Heimdal, he who guards the entrance to the home of the gods. The god Heimdal himself said:
Nine are my mothers,
I am nine sisters’ son.

The illustration of Ran is from here.

Historieforteller / April 21, 2015 / En manual i å forstå troll / 4 Comments

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Gdansk for denne gang #113

Lørdag tilbrakte jeg min siste dag i Gdansk i forbindelse med et kvinneprosjekt. Fire stykker fra prosjektgruppen vil komme til Oslo om under 14 dager og arbeide med autobiografiske fortellinger.

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Dette er en gruppe som arbeider med kvinners fortellinger knyttet til streiken ved verftet i Gdansk, streiken som førte til blant annet Nobels Fredspris, men de aktive kvinnenes fortellinger har druknet i historikken og denne prosjekt gruppen arbeider aktivt med å finne fram fortellingene og i ulike sammenhenger, som i radio, få disse formidlet.
Så langt har de fått grunnleggende kunnskap og erfaring i muntlig fortelling, neste runde vil være mer hardkjør mot å skape fortellbare fortellinger knyttet til deres overordnede prosjekt.

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Dette er en ung gruppe, hvor de aller fleste arbeider i doktorprogram, eller i ferd med å fullføre dem i en alder ”rundt 30 år”. De har en brennende glød for sitt prosjekt, en glød som må komme fra hendelsene fra godt over 30 år tilbake.

Historieforteller / April 20, 2015 / Internasjonalt / 0 Comments

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