Context

The so-called ‘Grimm Ripples’ (see Gunnell 2010a; Shippey 2006a and b; Strömbäck 1945 and Ward 1981) that followed the publication of the deliberately named Deutsche Sagen (1816) were part of a wider movement inspired by thinkers like Johann Gottfried Herder (see Barnard 1965; and Herder 1969) in the late eighteenth century, men who had argued that the ‘unpolluted’ ancient Volkgeist of countries was to be found first and foremost in the poems, songs and folk tales of the rural working classes. The resulting collection and publication of ‘national’ folk poetry, folk legends and fairy tales in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, the Faroe Islands and more was closely bound up with the creation of not only new forms of ‘national’ art, literature, music and theatre (as occurred in Iceland: see further Gunnell 2012), but also with new works on history, new dictionaries of language and dialect, and not least the national images used in political struggles for national independence. 1 The new ‘folklorists’ thus found themselves in influential positions within new national (and international) networks of writers, thinkers, politicians, academics and artists. Jón Árnason was a typical example, closely associated with figures such as Jón Sigurðsson, Guðbrandur Vigfússon, Konrad Maurer, and not least Sigurður Guðmundsson. 2

JA-ERNiE

Source: ERNiE, the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe