Friday, November 14, 2014

Bedtime Stories

I sometimes come across a piece of German history, with a twist.  This essay covers such a twist.

In 1812, the Brothers Grimm wrote and published a book with eighty-six include Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Puss in Boots.

Three years later, 1815, the Brothers Grimm would publish a second fairy tale book with seventy tales.

What most people of today believe is that the nifty little fairy tales that are told today.....are the original writings of 1812 and 1815.  Well....a professor went back to examine the original stories, as written in German.  The stories aren't exactly the same as today.

There's a fair amount of physical pain, suffering, and adult writings built into the original stories.  For example....Rapunzel had a fair amount of lusty time with the guy in the tower, and was showing signs of being pregnant at some point in the story.  Cinderella's original effort to fit into the shoe?  Well....she was told to take a knife and carve on the foot to make it fit.

Shocked? the period of 1812....books weren't exactly written for child audiences.  They were developed and marketed for adults.  It is that simple.

Within a couple of years, the Brothers Grimm came to realize that they had a winner in terms of stories, but it drew the attention of kids more than adults.  So, there came this cleaning-up of the two books.  Within thirty years....around fifty stories from the first edition had been changed or deleted.  By the 1850's.....the books were totally marketed for kids, instead of adults.

Does it really change anything?  It ought to make you sit there and wonder about various books written from the 1500s up to the 1900s.  Various writers have found inspiration to write one version of a story, and later come to realize after they've published the book......that maybe some revision should take place.  Most publishers probably don't want to admit that there is more than one version of a particular book.

Will a market suddenly come to exist with the original Brothers Grimm stories?  I'd take a guess here and say yes.  The new translation using the old original text will be popular for gift purposes.

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