Friday Fiction #6
Jade rounds off her Friday Fiction opus for 2014/15 with a great summer read…
The Complete Grimm’s Fairy tales
Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm
Now, I know what you’re thinking… this monster of a book may not seem like summer reading at first glance, however with such a variety of short tales on offer there is plenty for you to dip in and out of on a hot summer day. These delightfully whimsical tales are sometimes haunting and occasionally violent but they are always magical and full of creativity.
Jacob and Wilhelm, collectively known as the Brothers Grimm are renowned for their large collection of ‘Children and Household’ tales (Kinder und Hausmärchen), a set of fairy tales and folklore collected from all over Europe. These tales have been handed down through families and communities often serving as cautionary tales for adults and children alike, this historically mixed audience certainly goes some way to explain how un-child-friendly a number of these stories are.
Despite taking out some of the more unsavoury elements of these folk legends in later editions, there is still plenty of darkness to be found amongst these assorted tales. Though at least for every hint of murder, extortion and mutilation there is something good on offer to balance the scales.
Amongst the collection of 210 stories are old favourites such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Cap, Rumpelstiltskin as well as lesser known tales such as Gossip Wolf and the Fox, The Master Thief and Strong Hans. Each with their own magic and meaning.
The influence of the Grimm brothers is long established and widespread, the most obvious being their influence on Walt Disney and the Disney Corporation who have created many wonderful films from their collection of tales. Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are old favourites and the character of Rapunzel and her phenomenally long hair shows that the brothers are still going strong, the film Tangled doing very well at the box office when it was released in 2010.
Expect helpful elves, treacherous foxes, gallant princes and crooked old crones. This book will definitely spark your creativity and leave you feeling magical.
Library & Digital Assistant
“Wolves and grandmothers, ugly sisters, a house made of bread, a goose made of gold…the folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers created an astonishingly influential imaginative world. However, this is also a world where a woman serves her stepson up in a stew, a man marries a snake, a princess sleeps with a frog, and an evil queen dances to death in a pair of burning shoes. Violent, funny, disturbing, wise and sometimes beautiful, these stories have intrigued children, adults, scholars, psychologists and artists for centuries.”