Want To Find Out Any Fairy Tale Anywhere? Here's the Key.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Kodoku by Michiru Oshima [Fullmetal Alchemist first series soundtrack].

So you want to be the biggest fairy tale buff ever? Want to geek out in way that you never thought possible? You are going to want to be friends with Antti Aarne, Stith Thompson, and Hans-Jörg Uther.

Aarne was a Finnish folklorist. Here is  blip from Wikipedia:

"He was a student of Kaarle Krohn, the son of the folklorist Julius Krohn. He further developed their historic-geographic method of comparative folkloristics, and developed the initial version of what became the Aarne-Thompson classification system of classifying folktales, first published in 1910 and extended by Stith Thompson first in 1927 and again in 1961."

So Thompson was not his partner but his successor. He was an American folklorist born in 1885, and actually taught high school in the beginning. I thought that was cute. :) He wrote several books and articles on folklore, but his dualed contribution to the Aarne-Thompson Classification System is his most famous work.

But this system is now known as the Aarne-Thompson-Uther classification system since 2004, due to Hans-Jörg Uther. He noted that the existing system did not allow for expansion (quite important in any kind of database). So he developed the ATU number system and included international folktales in this new and expanded listing. Which is awesome.

So under this system you can find similar fairy tales based on common motifs. This is where my geeking out became hardcore. Want some examples? :)

How about Type 510 for the "Persecuted Heroine"
Type 990 is "Revived from Apparent Death by a Grave-Robber"

Do you see what I mean? This is the ULTIMATE place of gold for fairy tale lovers anywhere.

Type 303 - The Twin Brothers
Type 311 - Rescue by the Sister
Type 402 - The Animal Bride
One of my favorites: Type 425 - The Search for the Lost Husband
Type 516 - The Petrified Friend

(Look at the numbers. Are you beginning to see just how big this list is? (It's actually in the thousands)

Just a few more. :)

Type 610 - The Healing Fruit
Type 611 - True Love (Princess Bride totally gets an ATU!) :D
Type 756B - Deal with the Devil
Type 1415 - Trading Away One's Fortune
Type 924 - Discussion by Sign Language
Type 898 - Daughter of the Sun

and one of my favorites...

Type 570 - The Rabbit Herd. Oh yes. You read that right. :)