Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dyre Vaa, Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon

Dyre Vaa (1903-1980) was a Norwegian sculptor. This illustration to a Norwegian fairy tale is in Oslo. Photo by Tore Sætre.

Kvitebjørn kong Valemon = White-Bear-King-Valemon, which is about a young woman who weds a polar bear and almost frees him from a witch's curse with her love. Of course she messes up at the last minute and he is carried away to a far prison, from which she has to rescue him. Similar to one of my favorites, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which I made sure to read to all of my children, although in the most common Norwegian version of Valemon the heroine wins solely by goodness and sacrifice, with no fighting. Both are classified as Aarne-Thompson type 425A, Search for the Lost Husband.

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