The Maze of Fantasy in Tamil Folktales

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The book pursues an ethnographic and a theoretical purpose. The ethnographic first part examines how Tamil folktales, mostly gathered and published by Tamil authors, reflect Tamil culture. However, since the narrators want to amuse their listeners and arouse their interest they tend to exaggerate or invert the normal situation. Therefore, their tales reflect more reliably Tamil values, beliefs and interest than social behaviour. The second theoretical part stresses the importance of the actually occuring motifs and casts doubt on typology. Rather than artificially distinguishing tale types, often thought to exist independent of the narrators, it points out a network of thematic connections among Tamil folktales.

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