The discovery of a cache of fairy tales -- hopefully also folk tales -- has been discovered in Germany. These tales were the collection of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, and they had been locked away in a Regensburg archive for over 150 years.
Given the area in which the research was conducted, I am hoping that some of these tales may be versions of tales that are known in varied forms among the Deitsch.
I am also hoping that many of the tales contained therein are folk tales as opposed to fairy tales. Ruth Bottigheimer (SUNY Stony Brook) differentiates between the two in “Fairy Tales: A New History.” I do not personally agree with everything she writes in the book, though. My primary objections to her theories is that she seems to treats any folk tale or fairy tale that was passed among the upper classes of German society with a sense that they are not as valid as those passed among the lower classes. Personally, I disagree with that notion.
Many of Grimm’s fairy tales are actually folk tales, involving no “supernatural” beings. The folk tales often transmit more data about the culture and beliefs than do the fairy tales, which can provide us with insight into the different types of beings seen in the cosmology of the Heathen, syncretic, and post-conversion eras. Bottigheimer’s delineations are more complex that that simple distinction, but that is one of the more clear differences.
I ordered the book on Amazon.de and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these “new” fairy tales. :)