Seymour's Reviews > The Complete Illustrated Stories of the Brothers Grimm

The Complete Illustrated Stories of the Brothers Grimm by Jacob Grimm
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it was ok
bookshelves: childhood, classics, myth-and-faerie

One of the few things I can conclude from this book is that neither the brothers Grimm nor the good people who narrated these tales to them were sober at the time. That doesn't negate the work as a pretty extraordinary record of the dark, moralistic, occasionally humorous but rarely original landscape of 19th century German folklore.

Grimm seems to be back in vogue at the moment, in Hollywood, in fresh anthologies of fan fiction, in a counter-movement to 'disneyfication'. Many of these tales certainly beg to be retold and made relevant in our day. Some of them are downright funny and have great punchlines. A few of them provide novel variations on stories we think we know. Most of them simply recombine the same tropes like cards drawn at random from a deck of superstitions.

In the world of Grimm you must be kind and generous and it's even more to your credit if you are poor; beautiful people are good and ugly people are evil; you should avoid forests and bodies of water, especially if you are a child; you can generally trust elderly people; women are either barren or remarkably fecund; children should respect their parents and compete against their siblings for their affection; parents shouldn't spoil their children; life is pretty cheap; cunning always prevails against brute force and being a smart arse is admirable. Given how much these values are at odds with those of the 21st century I'm at a loss to explain the revival of interest ...
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Reading Progress

May 2, 2011 – Shelved
May 2, 2011 – Shelved as: childhood
May 2, 2011 – Shelved as: classics
January 13, 2012 –
page 296
April 21, 2012 –
page 338
39.67% "All these stories get muddled in my head."
August 12, 2012 –
page 500
October 29, 2013 –
page 622
March 2, 2015 –
page 665
March 3, 2015 –
page 734
March 3, 2015 –
page 752
March 5, 2015 –
page 797
Started Reading
March 6, 2015 – Shelved as: myth-and-faerie
March 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

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