In Norse mythology, elves are well-characterised beings, which, however, share some features with other creatures. They are present in some very famous popular ballads in Scandinavian literature, of which we have innumerable versions in the different Scandinavian languages. In Denmark, these texts have been labelled tryllevise (magical ballads) and they were collected mainly between the late 18th and the first half of the 19th century, the two most famous of them likely being Elver Høy, ‘The Elfin Hill’, and Elveskud ‘The Elfin Shot’. In 1828, Johan Ludvig Heiberg drew inspiration from a legend about an Elfin King as he submitted his proposal for a musical play to be held at court on the wedding day of prince Frederik (King Frederik VII of Denmark). A few years later, in 1845, Hans Christian Andersen devoted one of his fairy tales to the elves, choosing the same title as Heiberg’s play (Elverhøj) and somehow the same social occasion (here a feast in which a Danish Elfin King introduces his unmarried daughters to a Norwegian Troll King). This contribution analyses the different ways in which this literary subject was treated in Danish literature, focusing on the passage from Romanticism to Realism.

Dancing with Elves, from Curses to Literary Jokes

Finco, Davide Agostino
2017

Abstract

In Norse mythology, elves are well-characterised beings, which, however, share some features with other creatures. They are present in some very famous popular ballads in Scandinavian literature, of which we have innumerable versions in the different Scandinavian languages. In Denmark, these texts have been labelled tryllevise (magical ballads) and they were collected mainly between the late 18th and the first half of the 19th century, the two most famous of them likely being Elver Høy, ‘The Elfin Hill’, and Elveskud ‘The Elfin Shot’. In 1828, Johan Ludvig Heiberg drew inspiration from a legend about an Elfin King as he submitted his proposal for a musical play to be held at court on the wedding day of prince Frederik (King Frederik VII of Denmark). A few years later, in 1845, Hans Christian Andersen devoted one of his fairy tales to the elves, choosing the same title as Heiberg’s play (Elverhøj) and somehow the same social occasion (here a feast in which a Danish Elfin King introduces his unmarried daughters to a Norwegian Troll King). This contribution analyses the different ways in which this literary subject was treated in Danish literature, focusing on the passage from Romanticism to Realism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/901545
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