A wonderful book that traces the development of the literary fairy tale. Zipes includes famous authors, such as Wilde and the Grimms, but he also inclA wonderful book that traces the development of the literary fairy tale. Zipes includes famous authors, such as Wilde and the Grimms, but he also includes less well known stories. The stories range in style, some are funny, some are dark. Most, however, are just plain good. I first read this when I was a freshman in college, and it turned me on to author's I had not read before. I have also used this in reading classes, and the students (even the males) enjoyed it....more
Tatar not only includes good annotations to the tales, but also brief bios about the writers and the artists. It is a wonderfully illustrated collectiTatar not only includes good annotations to the tales, but also brief bios about the writers and the artists. It is a wonderfully illustrated collection. A word of warning, the annotations for the Grimm and Andersen stories appear in those editions as well as here, so there is some overlap....more
The collection includes various versions of the favorite tales as well as selections from Andersen and Wilde. The criticism refers not only to the incThe collection includes various versions of the favorite tales as well as selections from Andersen and Wilde. The criticism refers not only to the included tales, but fairy tales in general. A good starting point for fairy tale study....more
This isn't a straightforward folktale book for children. It's aimed more at adults and students of folk/fairy tales, so with each story is included inThis isn't a straightforward folktale book for children. It's aimed more at adults and students of folk/fairy tales, so with each story is included information about where the story comes from. It is a nice collection and includes some very funny stories....more
Today, Hans Christian Andersen would be given drugs and therapy, and then more drugs. He would be put into a study about repressed homosexuals and boyToday, Hans Christian Andersen would be given drugs and therapy, and then more drugs. He would be put into a study about repressed homosexuals and boys with a mamma fixation. All this because of his stories. Andersen’s stories are also not very happy when you truly think about them. For every happy story, like “The Ugly Duckling”, there are at least two sad stories.
Yet Andersen, at least in American circles, is considered a children’s author. Whether this is due to those editions or retellings of Andersen’s stories that make the ending happy, I don’t know. I do know that I have read Andersen more times than I have read the Brothers Grimm and that Andersen speaks to more people than the Grimm brothers ever will.
The Grimms were interested in collecting folktales and folklore. Andersen is interested in telling stories. Outside of Demark and other northern countries, he is known for his stories, in particular for his fairy stories. This is misleading for Andersen also wrote plays and poems as well as travelogues and autobiographies. His first success wasn’t with his fairy stories. His poem about a mother mourning her dead children is touching (and a theme that enters into one of his tales). Even just considering his stories, people are misled. Everyone thinks they know “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling”, or “The Little Match Girl”, fewer people know the stories how they actually are and even fewer know more of Andersen’s work, such as “The Shadow” or ‘”The Storks”. This does Andersen a huge injustice.
Andersen was heavily influenced by several things in his writing. It is common knowledge that he was influenced by folklore and the stories told to him by his grandmother, but he was also influenced by the German writers that predated him or who were his contemporaries. While it is not apparent in his better known tales, he had a strong love of country (even though he always seemed to be traveling away from it) as well as a good dose of patriotism. He was also religious, though this seems to come though in his tale more than anything else.
Several critics have pointed out that Andersen has a cult of suffering. His leads his heroes and heroines always suffer. The Ugly Duckling gets frozen in water, the Little Mermaid feels as if she is walking on knives (or broken glass); the Marsh King’s Daughter is transformed into a frog, the little Match Girl freezes to death, the money pig breaks, the storks deliver dead babies. Andersen’s characters seem to suffer far more than those people in the Grimm’s tales (though that isn’t a cake walk either). Andersen, however, is still a considered a children’s author because of the tone, his use of sound (read his tales aloud if you don’t believe me), of putting himself in a child’s shoes (who doesn’t imagine the flowers coming to life).
Too often people look at Andersen in the simplest terms. Take “The Little Mermaid” for example. Many today know the story not as Andersen’s but as Disney’s. They think that the mermaid marries her prince and everyone lives happily ever after. While the cursory reader of Andersen knows that this is not the ending, a deeper reading reveals, if not a happy ending, perhaps a slightly hopeful one as well as a few details about the prince. In the mermaid’s story, Andersen presents a people where the women seem to help each (the witch, the mermaid’s sisters, the mermaid herself) and where the only male who does anything is the prince himself. The mermaid and her sisters are desexualized (she loses her voice, they their hair). The prince treats the mermaid like his pet dog. The mermaid, however, wants a soul more than a prince. She acts more as if she has a soul more than prince. By taking “The Little Mermaid” and reducing the plot to a love story, the adaptor or reader does Andersen a disservice and dismisses the larger issue. In the story, it is the non-humans, the merfolk, who appear to have those virtues that humanity claims – compassion. The mermaid might eventually get her soul though she doesn’t get her prince. Today, there is a movement to de-religion stores (look at Narnia in both the movies and the exhibit), but to do so to Andersen guts this story.
Or take “The Marsh King’s Daughter”, one of Andersen’s lesser known popular tales. Fairy Tales always treat rape as a non issue or blame the victim. Sleeping Beauty, for example, in some versions is woken by the birth of twins, yet never seems to feel any emotional upheaval. Andersen is one of the few fairy tale writers to deal with the issue of rape and not fully gloss over it. Like the Grimms, who buried the incest theme of some tales, Andersen glosses over the attack that starts “The Marsh King’s Daughter”. The daughter of the title is the offspring of the Marsh King and the Egyptian princess who he attacks. This daughter is full of rage and pain except at night when she becomes a frog. Part of the story is about the daughter coming to terms with this rage. Where else would the rage come off except for the attack on the mother?
Many of Andersen’s tales are concerned with relationships, in particular those of mothers and children. Many critics have discovered or argued for the presence of Andersen’s own relationship with his mother in these tales. Andersen’s mother, who gave birth to a bastard daughter before marrying Andersen’s father, comes off looking less like a saint and more like a drunk if this is true. But then, there is a tale like “She Was a Good for Nothing” where the mother is a drunk who dearly loves and cares for her son. In this story, Andersen contrasts public view versus private life, of how the upper class views the lower class.
Andersen is often concerned with class in his tales. The upper classes tend to be dismissive of the lower classes, though it is the lower classes that exhibit more of those human virtues. Sometimes, like in “The Tinderbox”, Andersen even seems to attack the royalty, seemingly suggesting that the old order must give to the new. Even in his class stories, Andersen also shows a great love and knowledge of his country. Some of his stories are about the humble beginnings of Great Danes (no, not the dogs) like Thorvaldsen, whose work Andersen seemed to love if Andersen’s stories are anything to go by. It should also be noted that in some of stories, especially in stories where different classes of children met, Andersen suggests more of equality than out and out class warfare.
Andersen’s stories aren’t all for children; in fact, as he wrote more stories, Andersen saw himself as writing more for adults and this would example the class conscious stories, but also the longer stories like “The Ice Maiden” or “Ib and Little Christine”. It is in the longer stories that one can see the German romantic influence on Andersen. While the tales are more adult, they also consider several of the same themes that inhabit his more child friendly stories. While “Ib and Little Christine” can be rather annoying if you are female reader, it is impossible to describe the creeping feeling of unease that stories such as “The Ice Maiden” and “The Shadow” inspire.
Andersen borrowed from more than his grandmother and the Germans. His “The Rose Elf” presents a revenge minded “Pot of Basil”, a twist on a familiar tale presented by Boccaccio but also used by Keats among others. Andersen’s variation of the “Seven Swans” makes far more sense than other versions, even if it is chaster than those other versions.
Andersen’s most famous story might be “The Ugly Duckling”, a story that many critics, rightly it seems, consider to be Andersen’s most autobiographical work. This isn’t to say that the similar theme of belonging, of fitting in, doesn’t appear in other works. There are shades of “Duckling” in “Thumbelina” as well as some of the class conscious Andersen short stories. “The Ugly Duckling” is more memorable because the plot of the story could happen. The plot of “Thumbelina”, not so much. We believe in the duckling becoming the swan because of the way Andersen sets up the story – a mistake could happen. Today, even with all our supposed advancements, you still have hospital mix ups.
In most of Andersen’s stories, the reader can meet actual places and people that Andersen knew or admired. Edvard Collin, Andersen’s man crush, appears, as does Jenny Lind. Even smaller characters in Andersen’s history, less well known to the average reader, seem to appear. Andersen’s teachers, the women Andersen felt rejected him (or whom Andersen allowed himself to be rejected by); all seem to appear. Copenhagen is a time honored companion in the stories, but so is Andersen’s love of Italy. This sense of place gives another level of reality to the tales, a level that seems to be missing from the works of the Grimms or Perrault.
While many of Andersen’s tales have “morals” or lessons, they are not spelled out as in the work of Aesop or Fontatine. Andersen respects his reader, be that reader a child or an adult, and knows that his reader can follow his lesson without the moral being directly spelled out. Perhaps it is this reason that examines Andersen’s staying power even among, or especially among, female readers.
Andersen’s female characters do seem to get punished at far steeper rate than his male characters. While it is true that the Ugly Duckling freezes, his end is far different than those ends of the girls in “The Little Match Girl”, “The Red Shoes” or “The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf”. To say that Andersen was sexist would be a mistake. Even in stories where the girl is horribly punished there are good women – the grandmother, the girl who prays for Karen. More importantly, one of Andersen’s most famous stories, “The Snow Queen” presents two strong willed girls, one of whom keeps her independence; another of women is helped by more women than man when she quests to save her childhood fan who also is perhaps her adult love or husband.
The statue of the Little Mermaid, which just recently had its birthday, in many ways, is a fitting and unfitting memorial to Andersen. Like Andersen himself, the statue has survived various attempts to deface it. Andersen faults against those who mocked him, who tried to educate the imagination out of him, or who ignored him because of his class. He survived the fact that he would not be able to fulfill his first dream, to be a dancer. The statue of the mermaid has overcome beheadings, defacing, and veils to still exist as a tourist attraction. But like the works of Andersen’s own works, few people who see the statue know true story of the character the statue is based on, few know the story of the statue itself or of the Kasslett located nearby. Fewer know that it is not the only statue in Copenhagen depicting a merperson that has connection to Andersen (he wrote a story based on the Forsake Merman). Perhaps it is this sense of mystery that keeps Andersen’s popularity. We are introduced to him at two points in our lives. The first time when we are children. The second time when we are older, perhaps after seeing the statue or reading a story to a child. We can have two different readings of Andersen, the man and his work. ...more
A wonderful collection. Riordan includes fairy tales from all over the world. He keeps tale types, so there is a "Cinderella" tale, but he picks lesseA wonderful collection. Riordan includes fairy tales from all over the world. He keeps tale types, so there is a "Cinderella" tale, but he picks lesser known types. Also nice was the fact that the illustration style changes with each tale and matches where the tale comes from in terms of style....more
Another edition in Tatar's annotated fairy tale series. This edition includes well known tales, such as "The Little Mermaid", as well as stories for aAnother edition in Tatar's annotated fairy tale series. This edition includes well known tales, such as "The Little Mermaid", as well as stories for adults. It is well illustrated and includes a section at the end where authors give thier thoughts on Andersen. While not intended solely for children, the book's illustrations make it child friendly, while the annotations make it attractive for adults....more
When I went to Montreal for the first time 2001, one of the things I fell in love with was Inuit Art. Like no doubt most Americans, my knowledge of itWhen I went to Montreal for the first time 2001, one of the things I fell in love with was Inuit Art. Like no doubt most Americans, my knowledge of it extended no further then those soapstone(?) cravings that you can pick up almost any place. I'm not saying that such tourist pieces are ugly. They're not. They're just different.
In Montreal, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts (the English translation. And why are we so ready to go to such places when we are on vacaction, but have trouble seeing the historical and cultural sights at home? What does that say about us?). The Fine Arts Museum had a gallery devoted to Inuit Art. And beautiful art it is. There is something in it that appeals to readers. Each and every work tells a story. It could be an abstract piece or an animal, and yet it tells a story. I may not always know what the story is, but I know some story is being told.
It is that type of art that appeals to me. In the Philadelphia Art Museum, there is a room that houses "paintings" based on the Trojan War. Each painting has some red and some scribbles. Each painting looks like the scribbling I did on the hallway wall when I was six and got in trouble for. I don't get art like that. I don't like art like that. Maybe I lack culture.
But Inuit art is beautiful. One of the reasons why I went to Toronto this year was to see the Inuit Art Museum that is there (the other two were the ROM and the World's Biggest Bookstore), which was where I picked up this book (I can't afford Inuit art at this time. ). Let me pause and say, if you are in Toronto, go to this place. It is small but oh so awesome!
This book gives an overview of Inuit Art, discussing in medium detail the development and different schools. While the book points out various famous artists, it does not go give detail biographies (nor should it). It also retells some of the various myths and legends that are used in the art work. It is lavishly illustrated. While the prose sometimes feels like listing, overall this is a good and easy to read introduction. Hessel's love and knowledge of the subject shines though....more
I read this just after I read The Stepsister Scheme. This book answers some questions raised in the first and continues the characterization started iI read this just after I read The Stepsister Scheme. This book answers some questions raised in the first and continues the characterization started in the first.
Like the first novel, Hines seems to be writing in repsonse to the Disney Princesses trend. The princesses in his book, however, are far from passive. In this book, Hines tackles the story of "The Little Mermaid", relying more on the Andersen version of the story instead of the Disney bastard version.
It's a fairy tale for grown ups. Unlike Disney movies with the almost chronic absence of mothers (honestly, would you like to be a Disney mum?), Hines seems to be exploring the relationships that develop between female friends and family members. The Undines (mermaids) represent one type of family and Queen Bea and the three Princesses another.
Like the first novel in the series, Hines keeps the dark side of the tales present, making this book at times darker than the first novel. There is heavy cost to be paid, and the ending is bittersweet. It works well because of that.
What I really enjoy about Hines is that he writes women who are strong in different ways and who are friends and not rivals. Additionally, he does not do this at the expense of the male characters. This is more of female oriented story, but the men don't suffer from weak character either. Hines, for instance, does a good job of presenting two happily married couples.
There was on development in terms of Talia that I felt unsure about. In truth, when it was revealed, it illicited a small internal groan. Unlike some writers, Hines handles it well and in a rather touching manner....more
Really a 3.5, but I'm rounding up because I liked how in touch with the original Turgeon seemed to be. Though, many of the other reviews are correct;Really a 3.5, but I'm rounding up because I liked how in touch with the original Turgeon seemed to be. Though, many of the other reviews are correct; the characters could be fleshed out a little more. Just read below.
This is one of those books that will make neither right or left book challengers/banners happy. It's got both God and sex in it.
It also, and this is the reason why it has God and sex in it, far closer to the original Andersen tale.
Andersen's mermaid tale has always been darker, far darker than the Disney cartoon. Ursula is just the sterotypical Disney villian (she isn't as attractive as everyone else) and outside of her poor unfortunate souls, there is not much to fear in the Disney version. In Andersen's tale, however, the sea witch is not the scary bit. It is what the mermaid goes though when she becomes human. It always feels as if she is walking on glass. In order to gain what she wants, a soul in Andersen's tale, she must always be in pain (Andersen forsaw evil shows, I'm sure). Andersen's characters suffer (Tatar and others call it a "cult of suffering"); the suffering is the badge of thier humanity. To drop the suffering, to drop the cost, to even drop the soul, to turn the mermaid into the princess who needs rescuing, disrespects the story.
Turgeon doesn't disrepect the story; she keeps to the heart of it. Hence the view of the challengers. This book is going to be at least challengered somewhere, if it isn't already.
Turgeon's tale focuses on the two central female characters - the mermaid and the princess. These two women inadverently find themselves as rivals for the same prince, who is somewhat a louse and somewhat not. He's human too, not the Prince Eric. Turgeon's Christopher and his relationship with the mermaid hews far closer to Andersen where the mermaid sleeps at the foot of his bed.
Turgeon also keeps the quest for the soul. While she makes the mermaid more of a lover, the idea and desire for a soul are there as well. The princess as well feels some type of call. Turgeon keeps the focus on this aspect of the story. The mermaid story in the original had god and the hint of sex; Turgeon plays up the sex and keeps the god. It makes the story more than the plain old Disney version.
Intersting, while the Disney mermaid seems to exist in a mostly male world, Turgeon's world is dominated by women - the princess, the mermaid, the ladies in waiting, a sea-queen (whose husband just nods). The women act like women, friends, not friends and so on. It is not the female vaccum that the Diseny version is. Ariel helped by men and harmed by the only other woman of note. Even the sea-witch in Turgeon's tale gets far more depth.
Part of what Turgeon seems to be doing is playing with the idea of expections. But Lenia, the mermaid, and Marte, the princess, are, if you will excuse the pun, fish out of water at points in the novel. Thier choices even forced to be more of outsiders at points in the story. Additionally, Turgeon does make good use of doubling in the novel, though the sea-world is better drawn than the land world.
So yes, the novel does have some flaws, but overall this is a very good retelling of a fairy tale. I got this used, but if I had spent full price for it, it would have been worth it....more
Got this as an Amazon Freebie. I can say that I wouldn't gotten this if I had to pay for it. I was, however, nicely surprised and am considering buyinGot this as an Amazon Freebie. I can say that I wouldn't gotten this if I had to pay for it. I was, however, nicely surprised and am considering buying the second one.
Piper has a problem and it's more than her mother-in-law. A vampire is trying to kill her. And her young sister is going rebellious. And her dog doesn't really understand house breaking. And she has two young girls who both want to wear the princess crown, even though there are two.
And she has a magical ability that she hasn't told her husband about.
And humans might be wiped off the face of the earth.
Is this the best book I read? No, but it was very amusing in places, and Piper is a wonderful drawn character. I do agree with another reviewer, the anti-abortion rant went on just a little too long. But, I must also give credit to Evans for having Piper's husband, Mark, disagree with the rant and then both parties agreeing to disagree.
The very ending I did see coming. Certain things prior to the end I didn't. In particular, Piper's test was rather gripping and give her more depth....more
Talk about preachy. Honestly, if these are feminist retellings of fairy tales then why are most of the helpers still male? Why can’t some of the dwarvTalk about preachy. Honestly, if these are feminist retellings of fairy tales then why are most of the helpers still male? Why can’t some of the dwarves, for instance, be female dwarves? It’s great that the Queen helps Snow, but seriously all male dwarves? And why are most of the men in the stories undeserving idiots? Why not totally reverse the beauty and the beast theme, instead of making them both ugly, and the beast still a jerk? And how come every woman seems to be wearing a dress, and is white? And the combining of different time periods in each tale is just confusing. Honesty there are better feminist fairy tale collections out there, including ones with original work but also ones that have original folk and fairy tales in them. ...more
This is a rather varied collection of Inuit and other Northern people folk tales (though, there doesn't seem to be any Lapp tales). The tales are variThis is a rather varied collection of Inuit and other Northern people folk tales (though, there doesn't seem to be any Lapp tales). The tales are varied in style, which means the reader's reaction to the tales is going to vary. Many of the tales are sexual, and sometimes you wonder things like, "Why is it important that she is naked" or "how come the women are naked but not the men". But they are still good fun.
The tales are more different in tone than say European folktales and the fairy tales that are commonly read to children. It makes one wonder why. Why are the Northern tales more sexual, more blunt about it. Is it the weather? One wonders.
And I actually think this is one of the few folktale collections I've read that doesn't have a Cinderella variant in it....more
Sailor Twain is a novel. Not just a graphic novel, but a novel. I know, we tend to only refer to graphic novels thDisclaimer: I got a ARC via Netgalley.
Sailor Twain is a novel. Not just a graphic novel, but a novel. I know, we tend to only refer to graphic novels that people tend to apply that term to are Maus and Watchmen. But this is a novel.
Sailor Twain tells the story of a steamboat on the Hudson River; in particular it is concerned with the boat’s captain, a Captain Twain. Twain works for a Frenchman, who has been missing, and, therefore, at the moments takes orders from the man’s brother, Lafayette. There is the mystery of the engine room, and there are a couple of strange stowaways who are likable because they are children who know how to read. Then Twain pulls something from the Hudson, a mermaid. A hurt mermaid.
Mark Siegel draws upon American literature and history, and world mythology to tell a story of love, loss, and strength. It is worthy of any grand opera or majestic work of literature. I must admit that the charcoal drawing weren’t done in the style that I was expecting (I’m not sure what I was expecting in term s of charcoal drawings), but they do draw the reader into the story. There is something about the style. It’s somewhat like anime, somewhat European, yet wholly American. Whatever it is, it works. It suits the story.
And the story is the key. Told in parts and chapters, the story presents multi-layered characters in a conflict that is more than simple good against bad. Part of the story is the need to remove a curse, and this leads to a question about right and wrong. Despite the black and white of the drawings, the motives of the characters and the choices that must be made are not black and white.
Opening this book, even in the ARC galley form that I read does transport you to the Hudson of the later 1800s. You are there. You can smell the river, feel the boat move; in short, the reader becomes one of the passengers on that steamboat, something more than a disinterested reader. It is a way work – novel, poem, painting, comic – that can do that. This one can.
I love this series. This volumne has a nice twist on "Sleeping Beauty" as well as homage to Lovecraft (with a little Andersen thrown in). The black anI love this series. This volumne has a nice twist on "Sleeping Beauty" as well as homage to Lovecraft (with a little Andersen thrown in). The black and white drawings match the artwork, and while it wasn't quite as good as the others in the series, it was still cool....more
I don't have children, and I don't teach children. I picked up this book in part due to an interview on NPR and after seeing prostitots in the malls.I don't have children, and I don't teach children. I picked up this book in part due to an interview on NPR and after seeing prostitots in the malls. I should also note I had Barbies when I was kid. They got trampled by thier horses a lot. But at least, during my childhood, Barbie could be a vet. I also don't understand why girls wear pants with the word 'juciy' written across the butt.
Peggy Orenstein's book is a good look at the effects and causes of girlie-girl culture. If you are a Twilight fan, you might not be too disappointed with her analysis of the books/movies, and she takes a deeper look at the whole baby beauty queen pheomna than the back leaves you to think. If you are a parent, it help you try to negoiate all that how to raise a girl who stands on her own two feet; if you're not a parent, you'll be interested in the cultural analysis.
For instance, Orenstein points out that girls seem to be given two opitions - be a girl-girl (for the boys) or be one of the boys. The problem with the first is obvious, the problem with the second is that it tends to make the "tomboy" view other girls as inferior.
Now Goodreads member, I ask you, how many books, in particular in the current YA and paranormal/urban fantasy market with female protagonist do just that?
Or the Disney Princesses. Orenstein is right. They never look at each other. It's spooky.
What makes the book, besides Orenstein's wonderful writing where she points out her own problems in the culture, is the the fact that Orenstein admits that she doesn't have all the answers. She just wants the reader to think.
Four stars, though, because the Allies banned the Grimms after WW II due to propganda purposes (look at Nazi illustration for LIttle Red Riding Hood), and really how can you not mention Robin McKinley or Terry Pratchett or Jane Yolen when listing positive things for girls to read? ...more