BOOK FACT FRIDAY

FACT: Over the past two centuries, the character of Little Red Riding Hood has morphed into a variety of new forms.  When the Grimms recorded the story in 1812, they provided an alternate ending to the one in which a hunter cuts open the belly of the wolf and rescues Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales figures as the subject matter for this intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Nursery and Household Tales. This updated and expanded second edition includes a new preface and an appendix containing new translations of six tales, along with commentary by Maria Tatar. Throughout the book, Tatar skillfully employs the tools not only of a psychoanalyst but also of a folklorist, literary critic, and historian to examine the harsher aspects of these stories. She presents new interpretations of the powerful stories in this worldwide best-selling book. Few studies have been written in English on these tales, and none has probed their allegedly happy endings so thoroughly.

The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales
By Maria Tatar

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Comments

  1. Isn’t this the same story throughout history. Death, incest and just about everything else.