The hard facts of the Grimms' fairy tales

by Tatar, Maria, 1945-

Format: Print Book 2003
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CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction

Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales figures as the subject matter for this intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Nursery and Household Tales. This updated and expanded second edition includes a new preface and an appendix containing new translations of six tales, along with commentary by Maria Tatar. Throughout the book, Tatar skillfully employs the tools not only of a psychoanalyst but also of a folklorist, literary critic, and historian to examine the harsher aspects of these stories. She presents new interpretations of the powerful stories in this worldwide best-selling book. Few studies have been written in English on these tales, and none has probed their allegedly happy endings so thoroughly.

Sex and violence : the hard core of fairy tales
Fact and fantasy : the art of reading fairy tales
Victims and seekers : the family romance of fairy tales
Born yesterday : the spear side
Spinning tales : the distaff side
From nags to witches : stepmothers and other ogres
Taming the beast : Bluebeard and other monsters
Epilogue : getting even
Appendixes. A. Six fairy tales from the Nursery and household tales, with commentary ; B. Selected tales from the first edition of the Nursery and household tales ; C. Prefaces to the first and second editions of the Nursery and household tales ; D. English titles, tale numbers, and German titles of stories cited.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The very title of Maria Tatar's book suggests that it continues the modern trend of demythologizing the Grimm brothers and their work a phenomenon that began when Bruno Bettelheim told us that the dwarfs in Snow White have ``phallic connotations.'' Tatar uses three approaches folklore, psychoanalysis, and history to discuss the kinds of revisions the Grimms undertook from edition to edition (largely editing out sexuality but leaving in violence); to review the pitfalls of certain interpretive strategies; and to provide close readings of tales illustrative of male and female heroes and villains. It is these distinct analyses and speculations always provocative and informative that are the book's strength, rather than any radically new reading of the tales. Along with numerous scholarly appendixes, Tatar also includes her own translations of several of the Grimms' tales not previously available in English. The text is complemented by reproductions of many classic fairy-tale illustrations. Recommended for public libraries as an addition to the growing shelf of books yielding new understandings of ``once upon a time.'' To be indexed. EB. 398.2'1 Kinder und Hausmarchen / Grimm, Wilhelm Criticism and interpretation / Grimm, Jacob Criticism and interpretation / Fairy tales Germany History and criticism [OCLC] 87-45541"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This erudite, cogent perusal of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm's Nursery and Household Tales is, for the most part, accessible to a lay audience. Tatar charts the evolution of the tales through manuscript form and the various editions, and offers what she maintains is the first complete English translation of the prefaces to the first and second editions. The Grimms abandoned a scholarly effort to salvage pure remnants of folk poetry, advances Tatar, and ``with each new edition, the tales veered more sharply away from the rough-hewn simplicity of their first versions to a sanitized and stylized literary form that proved attractive to both parents and children.'' She demonstrates how the Grimms purged the collection of references to sexuality and incestuous desire but intensified violence, particularly when it took the form of revenge. In opposition to child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, Tatar warns that some cautionary tales may instill fear, rather than confidence, in children; regarding ``Bluebeard,'' she faults Bettelheim for turning a tale depicting the most brutal kind of serial murders into a story about idle female curiosity and duplicity. Tatar (Spellbound: Studies on Mesmerism and Literature) chairs the German literature department at Harvard University. Illustrated. (December) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Grimm, Wilhelm, -- 1786-1859 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Grimm, Jacob, -- 1785-1863 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Kinder- und Hausmärchen.
Fairy tales -- Germany -- History and criticism.
Publisher Princeton, N.J. :Princeton University Press,2003
Edition Expanded second edition.
Other Titles Kinder- und Hausmärchen.
Language English
Notes Originally published: 1987.
Description xxxvi, 325 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 275-314) and indexes.
ISBN 9780691114699
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