Saturday, August 25, 2007

Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

So I picked this one up because I've always heard that the original fairy tales by the Grimm brothers were actually violent and bloody stories. It turns out that's just a rumor. Take the description of Little Red Riding Hood being eaten by the Big Bad Wolf for example. This is all they have to say on the subject, "No sooner did the wolf say that than he jumped out of bed and gobbled up poor Little Red Cap." That's it. Where's the gore? There's no mention of the wolf using his abnormally large teeth to rip the flesh off of the poor girl's body bit by bit, no account of him ripping out her still beating heart, or even the slightest hint of the pool of blood that would have obviously been spilled. I mean come on!

What makes matters worse is that Penguin decided not to even include Little Red Riding Hood, in this collection at all. I had to get it online. And they went so far to put here face on the cover. Talk about false advertisement.

I will say that a couple of the stories were kind of entertaining. The one about the little elves that make shoes for the old cobbler before he wakes up is a great one. And to the Grimms' credit, they didn't actually create any of these stories. They're all old tales from the oral tradition in Germany. I guess it is somewhat of a linguistic accomplishment or something.


Christopher said...

I had to read a bunch of these for class.

Christopher said...

Did you read 'The Juniper Tree?' That one is pretty disturbing.