Transitioning: A Danish Folktale and the Contemporary Transgender Experience

Paper presented at the 2016 Conference for the American Folklore Society/International Society for Folk Narrative Research

The most well-known folktales of Denmark are, of course, the primarily literary tales of Hans Christian Anderson.  In the late nineteenth century, however, there were a handful of Danish folklorists collecting and compiling local folk tales, ballads, and legends.  Evald Tang Kristensen was a schoolteacher and folktale collector who grew up listening to the folktales of the poor villagers of Jutland—the western, continental portion of Denmark.  Unlike other Danish folktale collectors, Kristensen believed in collecting stories first-hand, and he travelled across Jutland doing so.  He strove to record them accurately, maintaining the speech patterns and dialects of the storytellers, with which he was intimately familiar.  He published these carefully transcribed tales, in four large volumes, during the 1880’s (Kristensen 9).

Continue reading “Transitioning: A Danish Folktale and the Contemporary Transgender Experience”