Friday, July 25, 2014

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm (A New English Version), adapted by Philip Pullman

The Grimm Brothers are having a real moment in pop culture right now. There are numerous movies and television shows with dark fairy tale themes, including one simply called Grimm. There's the Grimm trilogy by Adam Gidwitz. There's even a take on The Three Billy Goats Gruff called The Bully Goat Grim. And then of course there's this new collection of Grimm fairy tales by Philip Pullman.

I say "new" but of course the stories are very old. The Brothers Grimm themselves did not originate most of these stories, but gathered them from many sources, travelling around listening to tales. So Pullman warns us not to be too precious about the "right" version of these stories.

"A fairy tale is not a text," he says in his introduction. Each storyteller who repeats a fairy tale has the liberty--nay, the obligation--to tell it in his own way with his own embellishments. In this collection, Pullman has striven to stay true to the spirit of the original fairy tales rather than worrying about the exact wording or details.

He's also included a lot of stories that I had never heard before, such as "Hans-my Hedgehog." I was excited about that one because my daughter, Magda, is in love with a hedgehog character that her father created for her in a series of stories (which are sadly not available outside of our house, as much as I'd love to see him publish them). The Grimm Brothers' take on a hedgehog was, uh, less charming. In true Grimm fashion, it was a little horrifying. I didn't tell Magda.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
A New English Version
Author: Philip Pullman (adapted by)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
(Published by Viking November 8, 2012)
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley

A Tale Dark and Grimm
(review coming soon)
In a Glass Grimmly
(review coming soon)
The Grimm Conclusion
(review coming soon)
The Bully Goat Grim
(review coming soon)
Grimm (TV)
Once Upon a Time (TV)
Maleficent (2014)

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