I was watching The Brothers Grimm last night and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the problems in my head are caused by my genetics (well that is quite obvious~but my meaning is a little less obvious~i’m referring to the geographical source of my genetics being German, French and Irish and their natural tendencies to war with one another…) I was rather impressed by the movie itself, incorporating as it did, familiar fairy tales into an entirely new story (and i must admit a whole new admiration for Heath Ledger)~i always have been a fan of the Terry Gilliam genre of fantasy/comedy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly i was afterwards inspired to pick up my copy of the Annotated Brothers Grimm to further read up and refresh myself on the history of both these folklorist (and LIBRARIAN) brothers and their times as well as some of the more unfamiliar and familiar tales. I found myself quite enthralled in the whole thing.
One of the purposes the brothers had in collecting the folktales was to try and retain the legends of their people during the French occupation of Germany~they saw in the German tradition of oral folklore something unique to the volk (perhaps a mistaken impression on their part which also lead to further mistaken impressions later when their cause was taken up by the Nazis and they were later seen as Nationalists~which they were not~they just wanted a record of German folktales as Perrault had earlier done with the French and as later scholars would soon attempt to replicate with their own countries. We often think of the Grimm's tales as violent and bloody and well grim but the truth is they didn't start out as quite so. The first editions included much more sex and less violence. The Grimm's thought their audience was more adult and didn't realize the stories would appeal to children so much. With each subsequent edition they began to edit out the sex and add in more violence (interesting eh?)
Anyway, if you have an interest in fairy tales i recommend both the book and the movie...