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Title: The three stolen princesses (AT 301) : a Maltese Marchen within the Mediterranean tradition area
Authors: Mifsud Chircop, George
Keywords: Tales -- Malta -- History and criticism
Folklore -- Malta -- History
Thompson, Stith, 1885-1976. Motif-index of folk-literature
Tales -- Malta -- Classification
Issue Date: 1979
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Mifsud Chircop, G. (1979). The three stolen princesses (AT 301) - a Maltese Marchen within the Mediterranean tradition area. Journal of Maltese Studies, 13, 67-79.
Abstract: Maltese folktales have been neglected over the years, only a very few people were interested to read or listen to them. The apparent vacuum is constantly attempted to be filled by a sudden wave of translation of (literary) texts from other countries. In this respect, the present situation is similar to that of the last century and the first half of the twentieth when Gan Anton Vassallo, Annibale Preca and, to a lesser extent, Temi Zammit, literated in metrical form well-known international fables in Maltese, largely Aesopian, with the ethical and moral teaching mostly at the very end of the poems. With the notable exception of Johannes Bolte and Felix Karlinger, the Maltese folktale has hardly ever been scientifically studied as the folktales of other countries. Regarding foreign scholars, the language barrier is obviously the greatest obstacle of all. Regarding the system adopted in analysing 'The Three Stolen Princesses', or better 'Is-Serp tas-Seba' Rjus' (the Seven-Headed Serpent) in Maltese, the author has made use of Eberhard/Borarav's motif classification in their Typen Turkischer Volksmiirchen (Wiesbaden, 1953) though abiding by the Aarne/Thompson Type number. A similar scientific merger has already proven successful in Sebastiano Lo Nigro's Racconti popolari siciliani (Firenze, 1957). In this way, variants are given their full weight in the tale history.
Appears in Collections:JMS, Volume 13
JMS, Volume 13

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