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By Maria Tatar

Homicide, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker aspect of vintage fairy stories figures because the subject material for this interesting learn of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Nursery and family stories. This up to date and extended moment version encompasses a new preface and an appendix containing new translations of six stories, besides statement by means of Maria Tatar. during the booklet, Tatar skillfully employs the instruments not just of a psychoanalyst but in addition of a folklorist, literary critic, and historian to envision the harsher elements of those tales. She offers new interpretations of the robust tales during this world wide best-selling publication. Few stories were written in English on those stories, and none has probed their allegedly satisfied endings so completely.

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Example text

As much as some readers may be shocked by the cruelty and violence of the Grimms' tales, they would find many of the stories tame by comparison with their corresponding peasant versions. 28 Long before Disney transformed Snow White's stepmother into an evil queen, the Grimms had seen to it that Snow White's treacherous biological mother was replaced by a stepmother. 29 Publicly and privately they observed that revisions had been made only in the interest of producing complete and authentic tales.

34 Still, the Grimms outdid themselves on occasion. While they may not have gone quite as far as Madame de Villeneuve, who so puffed up the story "Beauty and the Beast" that her version took up more than three hundred pages, they occasionally succumbed to the temptation to embellish a tale by expanding it. Here are a few lines from their original draft of "Briar Rose": [Briar Rose] pricked her finger with the spindle and immediately fell into a deep sleep. The king and his retinue had just returned and they too, along with the flies on the wall and everything else in the castle, fell asleep.

Grimm), Wilhelm Grimm threatened to take the Nursery and Household Tales to a rival firm unless Reimer proved willing to meet his terms for a second edition. At that point, Reimer showed his claws. He reminded Wilhelm that no written contract existed between them and that he was therefore under no obligation to pay anything more than half the promised royalties. Furthermore, sales of the Nursery and Household Tales were "no longer particularly strong," and he was left holding 350 worthless copies of the second volume.

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