Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were writing in a different world. They lived in the town of Kassel in Germany and studied law and language as well as writing more than stories which they published in two volumes between and They have morphed into countless adaptations; Disney disneyfied them and new filmmakers and novelists continue to rework them.
They are full of sex and violence.
In Snow White, the stepmother asks for the lungs and liver of the little girl. She's just seven years old and she's been taken into the woods by the huntsman. These tales of gore and sexuality — John Updike called them the pornography of an earlier age — are still going strong. They are tales of right and wrong.
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There are clear morals to be drawn — deception and dishonesty are punished; honest hard work is rewarded; promises must be honoured; beware of strangers — and especially the forest. Moralistic lectures never entertained anyone — but gory tales of suspense are a different thing.
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They do have an eternal following. I'm going to tell you the story and I'm going to show you how this hero or this heroine manages to come out of it alive. A survey last year found that many reported that their children had been left in tears by the gruesome fate of Little Red Riding Hood. And many parents felt that Cinderella was a bad role model for daughters because she did housework all day. Some pop culture versions of the tales have sugar-coated their more unpalatable aspects. There are ravens down there and skulls and mysterious dusty tomes. She goes from the fairest of all to the ugliest of all.
First, her voice changes and then her hands begin to change and there she is a decrepit old woman. The cat turns and eats the mouse. The end. Not wanting anyone to know what happen, the stepmother devises a plan to make her daughter believe she did it, and then, the stepmother cooks the poor boy and feeds him to his father! The boy turns into a bird and sings his story to various people, who give him a gold chain, red shoes, and a millstone.
The bird gives the father the chain, the little girl the shoes, and the stepmother — well, the bird drops the millstone on her head. The little boy is, once again, alive, and he, along with his father and sister, enter the house and have dinner. The premise is the same, in that Cinderella has an evil stepmother and two horrid stepsisters who make her life miserable by making her do awful chores like picking lentils out of ashes , and she meets a handsome prince and lives happily ever after.
And their punishment for mistreating Cinderella? The birds peck out their eyeballs. A man and his wife are so desperate a child that they even wish for a hedgehog. Well, their wish comes true when the wife gives birth to a half-hedgehog, half-boy baby — not what they were expecting. Not wanting to have anything to do with him, the parents pile some straw behind a stove and leave him there.
While living in a tree and playing his bagpipes, he helps two kings find their way back home, but only if they promise him their daughters. The first king is sneaky and says yes but really means no, while the other agrees. Come wedding night, Hans sheds his hedgehog skin to become a very handsome man. He also forgives his father. Eventually, he gets caught and is forced to promise the child to their neighbor, Dame Gothel. They live happily ever after. A young princess will only marry if her intended agrees to one thing: if she dies first, he will be buried alive with her.
A young man from a poor family leaves his home so that he can earn his keep and not be a burden to his father. He meets the princess and falls madly in love with her, agreeing to her demand. They are married, but after a while, she becomes ill and dies. He follows through on his word and is placed in the vault with her coffin. While in there, a snake appears and he hacks it into three pieces. Another snake appears and heals the dead snake with three leaves, and they both leave.
th Anniversary: The Cultural Legacy of Grimms Fairy Tales - SPIEGEL ONLINE
The husband then places the leaves on his wife, and she comes back from the dead! However, she no longer loves him and throws him overboard, with the help of her lover, while on a sea voyage. His servant rescues him, and they tell the king everything. It was only after they published their first volume that they realized younger readers were interested. They continually refined and finessed the stories over more than four decades, smoothing out the more violent parts, with the final edition appearing in This was the edition they felt was the most child-friendly, and it is this volume that we used as the basis for our translation.
What age group is this book suitable for? This book is suitable for readers from 6 years of age onwards, and is certainly also intended for adults.
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The artists in this book span a range of nationalities, historical eras, and artistic styles. There are famous illustrators featured, as well as new discoveries in the mix. For instance, readers can learn about groundbreaking book illustrators from the 19th century, as well as the famous artists of the Golden Age of illustration from the early 20th century, both of which had a huge impact on animation and cartooning later.
This is a new approach to the tales. Is there text for those who want to learn more?
There is an introduction that describes the history of the tales and their illustrators over time. Why a new translation? The delightful aspects of the tales are almost never talked about, and we really wanted to use the occasion of a new translation to highlight the genuine pleasure one gets from reading them.
TASCHEN is like a modern family, and this is what makes the company a unique and honest representation of the whole gamut of human nature. The diverse members of this family produce books that appeal to an equally diverse readership — from erotic provocateurs, to interior decorators, architects, fashionistas, and history and film buffs.
It is so much fun to read this book out loud.