Interactions: Centuries of Commerce, Combat and Creation
Fairy tales are very old—their themes are found in legends and myths from Antiquity, and even those early texts likely borrowed from oral traditions humming in the background. Given the respectable age of this genre and its formal complexity, one can assume that all fairy tales are genetically related. At least, as an eminent specialist pointed out, the entire store of fairy tales can be examined as a chain of variants on a basic theme. This amounts to saying that fairy tales partake of a shared conceptual universe—a notion that raises interesting questions, such as: what are fairy tales about? What sorts of intertextual conversations do they accommodate? And how can we apprehend fairy-tale exchanges?