Infusing New Life in Folktales: Children's Literature in India

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Raj Gaurav Verma


This paper attempts to look at the intersection of folktales and children's literature, and proposes to categorize the rendering of folktales for children as standard/ original version and experimental version. Folktales are the original source from which all other genres of entertainment have emanated and evolved. They have gradually transitioned from oral tradition to the textual, from textual to digital and virtual world. This does not only indicate their innate instinct of survival but also their ability to adapt to changing times. Folktales, at one point of time, were directed at audiences of all types. Over a period of time they began to be seen as part of the children's world while 'textuality' came to be associated with the adult world. This distinction got blurred in the recent transition to the virtual world where children and adults can experience a folktale on the screen alike. Thus, standard or original versions of folktales continue to exist in the society and get transmitted from one generation to the other. Experimental version on the other hand is based on innovation in the narration bringing together the folktales and the element of fiction writing, merging reality and fiction, mixing tales with lived experience. Based on the impact and usage of folktales they may be divided broadly into two categories, standard or original version, and the experimental version. This paper attempts to study written versions or collections of Indian folktales for children in the light of these two categories in folktales developed for children.

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