Fairy Tales are Everywhere

As I mentioned earlier, when Jesse and I first started looking at using these exciting new fairy tales for our traveling puppet show project we got a little bit stuck because most of them were only available in German – which neither of us speak. Some very kind friends and family helped us out with the translations, but while we were waiting we decided to spend some time researching the idea of Fairy Tales in general. Where do they come from, what was their original purpose, and what role do they play in our contemporary world?

Well, not surprisingly, although we’ve come across many interesting theories and ideas, there aren’t really any definitive answers to those questions. One thing that we can say for certain though, is that fairy tales are certainly present in modern culture – once you start looking for them you find them everywhere! I’ve found references in songs, novels, news stories, tv shows, blog posts, podcasts…

fairy tale forest

One of my favourite finds has been this series of photographs by landscape photographer Kilian Schönberger. He captures the mood of 19th century fairytales in photos of German forests that somehow manage to feel both sinister and enchanting.

For any of you who are interested in jumping down the rabbit-hole of fairy tale research with us, here are a few more links to get you started:


2 thoughts on “Fairy Tales are Everywhere

  1. I lived for a while in residence at the International House on the U of A campus. One of the more intriguing ways of breaking the ice with house-mates was asking what stories they remember from their childhood, whether in legend or rhyme. I conducted an informal survey of what nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and tongue twisters were known and which were in common. We had residents from Iran, China, India, Nigeria, Mexico, England, Germany, Turkey, Romania… There were similarities in many of their stories, and we all wondered what the tales meant, and where they were originally from, and when. Very cool that you’re looking into that, I’ll see if I can find my old notes.


    • Hi Cameron! That is a great way to get to know people, and the information you’d receive is so much richer than the usual age/hometown/occupation stuff. What was the most common thing you found?


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