Folk Tale Query

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at
Sat Dec 7 09:45:11 UTC 1996

S. Kichenassamy wrote:
>There is a very similar story I was told as a child (we are Tamils): A
>king cut himself and his chief minister applauded at the good news---the
>minister was of course immediately jailed...  Later on, while traveling,
>the king was caught by a tribe of cannibals who were looking for a
>physically perfect king for their purposes. To their dismay, the king had
>this small wound...and they had to release him. Is there proof that the
>above is of foreign origin? 

I don't think you can prove that the story given above is of foreign origin.
But the idea that the king should physically perfect is also found among
ancient peoples in Europe. In addition, he should be more handsome than
other men. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica, by the way, recently
published the result of a query among ordinary Americans on how their
president should look. The "identikit" president came across as an idealized
Caucasian male, slim, good-looking, fortyish with an interest in sports. I
think that this way of thinking may be quite "archetypical" to use the
Jungian expression!

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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