We even try to lead our lives like fairy tales. So what is the secret of Grimms' Fairy Tales' nearly universal appeal?
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales (Knickerbocker Classics)
The Grimms were dedicated linguists and philologists who saw fairy tales as a living record of cultural history. Their unique approach somehow managed to tap into our collective consciousness. This reference to the traditions of more than one culture addresses a common misconception about the fairy tales -- that they somehow represent the German ethnic soul. While they may have been collected by Germans, who in their editing and writing in that language certainly coated the tales with a Teutonic veneer, scholars have found that the scope of their origins stretches beyond even the borders of Europe.
One of the volume's best-loved stories, "Cinderella," for example, has been found in about different incarnations around Europe, says Zipes, professor emiritus at the University of Minnesota. They go back to pagan times. We can only surmise how far back. Similarly, celebrated German novelist Martin Walser recently said in an interview the Grimm stories are "our oldest testament," stories that hearken back to a time when "the people were still poets.
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But the appeal of the Grimms' particular versions of such tales comes from their painstaking revision process, which took place over the course of 45 years through seven different editions, says Noel Daniel, editor of publisher Taschen's new translation of the original tales, released last year along with stunning vintage illustrations she pulled from archives around the world. The result "takes hold of our imaginations when we are young children and stays with us throughout our lives.
Over its year history, the art book publisher had never released a children's book, but saw the Grimms' work and its ageless appeal as an opportunity to change that. Daniel selected stories from the final edition, their most pared-down, child-friendly version. Her aim, she says, was to "go back to the source and cut through all the cleaning up and derivatives that have come since. The fact is that Grimms' Fairy Tales, despite their original title, were not initially aimed at children.
It was only in response to outside pressure, which came after translations of their early editions that were geared toward children had success abroad, that they began to weed out the more offensive elements of the stories and remove some stories altogether. For example, one tale entitled "How Children Played at Slaughtering," in which kids try to emulate a butcher and one child ends up dead, did not make the cut for the final edition.
Still, says Daniel, the edition retained a number of details that continue to be removed in other versions on the market today. Despite the extensive amount of reinterpretation and sugar-coating that continues in the countless versions available today in various forms, the tales maintain their popularity because their key elements are common to all.
Grimms' Fairy Tales - Wikipedia
But perhaps their most alluring element is the utopian world in which they take place. There will always be justice," Zipes says.
- Grimms' Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm!
- Grimm's World?
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Additionally, characters of humble origins, if they are kind and generous, often manage to achieve some kind of success in the stories. Still, amid the love fest accompanying the tales' th anniversary, casting a critical glance at the texts is also important. Many of the stories are sexist, reflecting a patriarchal culture.
Zipes cites the tale of "Little Red Riding Hood," which originated in the medieval period, as a metaphor for rape in which women are blamed for the crime. While some creative people have done this -- Zipes cites feminist Angela Carter's collection of tales "The Bloody Chamber," and Ann Sexton's revised Grimms' tales called "Transformations" -- the fairy tales typically produced today, especially out of Hollywood, the world's great fairy tale factory, fail to make this leap.
Disney has made a fortune producing beloved animated versions the Grimms' tales, such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Sleeping Beauty," and most recently "Tangled," a film about Rapunzel. But these films, in particular, fail to take a modern approach. By Kristen Allen Kristen Allen. But Marx also served in the family environment as a fairy tale storyteller. Siegfried Stadler now brings both fairy tale storytellers together and tells new stories that say a lot about the real social and economic world of our days.
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The Swabians! Listen to each part on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — in the morning journal and in a repeat in the afternoon journal. In addition, the seven parts are also downloadable as Podcast. Postmodern irony in the notice notwithstanding, it is not surprising if fairy tales told the truth better than news these days, is it? Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi yoshiefuruhashi yoshie.