Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fairy Tales, Demythified and Unmasked



As readers of this author's blog (my) may know, (Why do 'us authors' use the term 'this author'? Isn't is simpler to say 'my'?) Wendy and I seek out curious and used (or sometimes curiously used) bookstores, looking for books and/or coffees previously not known to us. We are fortunate to have right here in Lexington sQecial Media, shop near the University of Kentucky that carries a wonderfully diverse assortment if items, including, but not limited to, books and magazines.

Ah, yes, the books and magazines. What a wild and woolly collection--mainstream classics, underground classics, cult material, new age-ish/occult/psycho/para-/head-/pretty-much-everything-B-and-N-doesn't-carry kind of stuff. Now, one of the things I've been into of late is reading the old, original fairy tales, uncut and non-Disneyfied (not that I have anything against the Mouse--I still love my old Disney movies, but sometimes, well, you know...). So, guess what I found today as sQecial. "Favorite Fairy Tales", from Dover, a collection of 27 stories by the Grimms, Andersen, and others.

In the late 1800s, an author named Andrew Lang compiled the best of the best of the old fairy tales in their original formats. He assembled them in three separate volumes, but sadly, the censors of the Victorian age wouldn't allow them to pass to the general public. Hence, the Disney versions of these classics. But these little gems just wouldn't stay buried.

Well, I just read "Little Red Riding-Hood", the one from Charles Perrault, a 16th century French author. One thing I learned for certain, is, well, first off, don't go into the woods alone wearing red, 'cause think of happened to the red shirts in Star Trek. Also, if you meet a talking wolf in the woods (who was called Gaffer Wolf in the tale), do not engage. Also, when you get to Grandmamma's house, and you already know she's old and can't see worth a damn, if she's got great big eyes, well...

How's it end? Do some digging and check it out. You'll be glad you did. It sure doesn't have a Disney ending.

Keep writing, friends.

3 comments:

  1. I have a German version of the Grimm Brothers' original fairy tales. The only happy ending is when you finish the book.

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    1. That bad, eh? I've not read the original Grimm Bros' works. Did read Pinocchio a while back, though. The little wooden kid smashes the talking cricket with a hammer.

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  2. I remember a book of fairy tales with wood block illustrations that I read as a child that was traumatizing what with visuals of grandma being eaten by the wolf. Wish I could find that book now and relive that good old trauma.Clark aka anonymous

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