Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arthur Rackham's Book of Pictures

Arthur Rackham's Book of Pictures (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) by Arthur Rackham was released in December and kept slipping down my to do list for the blog here. This is a Dover reprint of a book originally published in 1913. The book is essentially a collection of Arthur Rackham's orphan works, ranging from fairy tale illustrations to magazine commissions. It is eclectic and fun since the range is wider than the usual collection of Rackham's works. This reprint includes Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's introduction.

The Frog Prince by Arthur Rackham
The Frog Prince

The collection has some of my favorite Rackham illustrations. Many of these have not appeared in previous Dover collections of Rackham's work.

Arthur Rackham's Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk

Once Upon a Time

Book description from Dover:

This wonderful survey of the famed artist's early work features 44 color plates in addition to several black-and-white vignettes and spot illustrations. Most of the images depict fantastic dwarfs, giants, elves, and fairies as well as naturalistic illustrations far removed from the fairy world. An elegant offering for all Rackham fans, this volume includes many long-unavailable pieces.

Santa Claus

There is one review on the Amazon page for this book but it is for another edition. This edition, while it uses the standard Dover sizing and image quality is different from that described in the review.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amy Stein in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination

Amy Stein. Watering Hole, 2005.

Amy Stein has two pieces featured in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination at the Frist Center.

Of course, when one attends a curator's tour of an exhibition, your attention tends to focus on the pieces discussed. There were a few exceptions for me, pieces I will go back and study more and see what resonates when I am on my own, but I know these would have had an impact even if Mark Scala hadn't spent time discussing them. Scala pointed out that these were perhaps the least fantastical pieces in the exhibit but that is what gives them their power, too.

I found these images on Amy Stein's website and discovered they are part of a larger series titled Domesticated, all of which are viewable on her website and I recommend the click to see them.

These certainly, subtly, recall fairy tale themes, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood come immediately to mind. But for me, they also reminded me of how nature is nearby, closer than many of us in suburban and urban lifestyles credit at times. I've lived within a mile of a lake for many years in my life, but spend very little time at it. The wildlife nearby is abundant. We've seen a bobcat and a wild boar as well as opossums, turtles, deer, etc. on a regular basis. Snakes are not as common, but I remember unlocking the backdoor to the house one day, years ago, and looking down to see a snake sunning itself along the threshold. Fortunately, it wasn't poisonous but we spent a few minutes evaluating each other just like the girls in these photos are doing.

The Watering Hole image above is more powerful in person because the girl's face is more visible, both startled and fascinated. You can click on it to see it larger but an original print is the best.

Amy Stein. Predator, 2006.

Deal of the Day: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) by Maggie Stiefvater is the ebook deal of the day on Amazon. Today only it is 99 cents.

Book description:

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mary Engelbreit's Fairy Tales: Twelve Timeless Treasures

If you are looking for a sweetly illustrated collection of fairy tales with many, many illustrations, but definitely not Disney, I would recommend Mary Engelbreit's Fairy Tales: Twelve Timeless Treasures. The book is currently bargain priced at Amazon for $7.80 in hardcover and I am tempted to pick up one or two gift copies myself.

This one is "safe" for the preschool set and will also satisfy parents who are concerned about being too scary too early because this book isn't. Engelbreit brings her brand of humor and sweetness to the illustrations that are not generic like many of the collections that children tend to receive instead. (I think of them as grocery store books.) I think books like this make great bridges between the unadulterated original tales that make parents wary of fairy tales. And the illustrations are vibrant and profuse throughout the collection. And the book should especially appeal to the little girls who adore Disney without giving them all of the Disney merchandise if that is important to you. (I know people to whom it is.)

From Engelbreit's notes:

I wanted to share these timeless stones with children today, but as I read and considered which to include, I realized for the first time how many of the stories ended with the message that marrying a prince is the solution to all of life’s problems. If only that were true! Knowing how independent and free-spirited my daughter Mikayla and her friends are—and wanting to nurture that—I felt it was important to bring out the spirit of dashing adventure in the richly imaginative world that I’d enjoyed as a child. So I decided to edit some of these endings a bit, letting children know it is okay for the princess and her frog to remain friends or that a prince can help with the household chores.

After choosing the twelve tales, I had fun dreaming up the costumes, especially the ball gowns. I based the clothes on styles, decorative patterns, and fabrics from different periods that I like, especially Elizabethan and medieval times.

You can preview the book on Amazon to see the full table of contents and many more illustrations. I shared just a few here to give an impression of Engelbreit's style.

Kiki Smith in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination

Born by Kiki Smith

The Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination exhibit offers two works by Kiki Smith. I'm going to share the same images from yesterday's post of the works, published by the Nashville Scene. Multiple images of both of these works can be found around the web. For fairy tale devotees, they are perhaps the most well-known images in the exhibit.

I am not an expert on Smith's work, but have admired it for a long time now. One of the best websites about her work is MoMA's site dedicated to an exhibition of her work at Kiki Smith: Prints, Books & Things. You can read about Smith's Little Red Riding Hood works in the section labeled Feminine Contexts. From the MoMA site:

Smith's most recent print on the subject of "Little Red Riding Hood," Born, is a more violent reading of the story, depicting the wolf with blood dripping from its mouth. It is based on the ending of some versions of the story, in which the little girl and her grandmother emerge from the wolf's stomach after being eaten. This interpretation implies salvation and rebirth; and is fused with Biblical overtones and Virgin Mary symbolism; as well as Smith's simultaneous explorations into the figure of Sainte Genevieve (see "Rapture" below). The monumental lithograph; which took over three years to complete; went through a dynamic series of stages before Smith settled on the final version.

Rapture by Kiki Smith

Rapture, while it certainly draws upon Little Red Riding Hood, too, is primarily inspired by St. Genevieve.

From Art21 at PBS:

In several of her pieces, including "Lying with the Wolf, Wearing the Skin," and "Rapture," Smith takes as her inspiration the life of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. Portrayed communing with a wolf, taking shelter with its pelt, and being born from its womb, Smith’s character of Genevieve embodies the complex, symbolic relationships between humans and animals.

The following is a segment from PBS's Art 21 on Kiki Smith's work in her own words.

Watch Stories on PBS. See more from ART:21.

And, as always, here is the exhibition catalog:

Castle's Once Upon a Crime Airs Tonight

That's a clip from tonight's episode of Castle, Once Upon a Crime. Do watch that one. It's better than I usually expect from tv dramas when discussing fairy tales. So we start with Red Riding Hood but Snow White gets murdered, too, from the previews. And, yes, these clips are the average TV level of dead bodies and wounds so watch at your own risk. Nothing nearly as graphic as Grimm on NBC.

I'm curious, so I'll be watching.

And here's another preview:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination Exhibit Preview

I have the opportunity to attend the media preview of Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination this past week. The exhibit opened here in Nashville on Friday at the Frist Center. This week I plan to highlight the work of several of the artists represented in the exhibit, but that begins tomorrow. Today I wanted to share a link and a few of the images from the Nashville Scene's preview of the exhibit installed to entice you to go over there and look.

Go to Installation View: Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination at The Frist by Laura Hutson to see many more pictures than these. The three I share here are borrowed from the article and all rights belong to the photographer and Nashville Scene. I was there when these were take and managed to only get half photographed in one. (So, nothing for Pinterest, Gypsy. Grin. I like it that way.)

The exhibition catalog is already temporarily out of stock at Amazon which I hope means there was a demand for it since I know it shipped to at least one friend this week. (It also was probably fairly low inventory since Amazon had bumped the original ship date to late March and then shipped copies this week when they became available to those who preordered.) The catalog has two great essays by Jack Zipes and Marina Warner which will be of particular interest to readers here.

The exhibit moves to Winnipeg this summer and then on to Calgary. Here in Nashville, however, one can still attend a few curator tours which expand upon the collection even more. Mark Scala brings out nuances and details in the collection that I may have missed after several visits.

For those only interested in the fairy tale aspect of the exhibit, the out right fairy tale interpretations are limited to the first room and then the exhibit expands to fairy tale and folklore inspired themes and moves on to monsters, etc. I think it is still worth the price of admission to you, too. Here in Nashville, the fairy tales are in a cave like room, with trees surrounding the doorway. The forest theme is perfect and the exhibit's designers did a great job with colors and displays. (I'm always impressed with the Frist's display decisions in exhibits like these.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barbie and Fairy Tales

Rapunzel (1995)

Barbie has a varied history with fairy tales, but one of the more recent adventures included a Children's Story collector series from 1995-2000, with a doll released each year. While Barbie also has a long history of Disney fairy tale tie-ins, this line of dolls carefully--and often successfully--navigated away from the Disney designs for these characters. Today I am sharing images of each for a lighthearted Saturday post. The only oddity is Little Bo Peep but the rest are all romantic fairy tale heroines.

All of these images were borrowed from the Barbie Collector website. Descriptions of the dolls are provided there, mostly concentrating on the clothing.

Little Bo Peep (1996)

Cinderella (1997)

Sleeping Beauty (1998)

Snow White (1999)

Beauty (2000) I think this one channels Disney more than the others.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway 2012-3 Season

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Julie Andrews Cinderella starring Leslie Ann WarrenCinderella starring Brandy
I'm a little late on this since the buzz started around December--I frankly forgot it during the holidays--but there hasn't been much news about it yet anyway, mostly the initial announcement. So here are clips from various articles to get the fullest news. I am rather happy about it since the reworking could make it interesting and this musical is the type to go on tour if it does well on Broadway so I have a better chance of seeing it. My life doesn't lend itself to Broadway trips to New York very often. Not ever, actually, although I have seen things in LA and London come to think of it. And it might lead to another TV production or at least a PBS taping. The Andrews version is my favorite or perhaps due to its age.

From Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella Eyes Broadway Run with New Book From Douglas Carter Beane by Staff:

The first Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is eyeing a run during the 2012-13 season, according to the New York Times. The show, which was first produced as a made-for-television film in 1957, will feature a new book by Douglas Carter Beane (Sister Act, Lysistrata Jones). A workshop of the musical is expected to take place in April. While producers have an actress in mind for the title role, no potential casting has been revealed.

The production is expected to feature several songs that were cut from other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals including South Pacific ("Now is the Time") and The Sound of Music ("I've Lived and I've Loved"). It would also feature several changes to the book including eliminating the characters of Cinderella's birth mother and father, as well as the King and Queen (who will be replaced by one character who oversees the Prince and the kingdom).

From Douglas Carter Beane Is Godfather of Broadway-Aimed Production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella by Adam Hetrick:

The property's closest brush with Broadway was a national tour that played The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in 2001. It starred Eartha Kitt as the Fairy Godmother and Jamie-Lynn Sigler in the title role. That production drew on several versions of Cinderella, including the original 1957 teleplay and the 1997 "Wonderful World of Disney" version.

Beane (Xanadu, Lysistrata Jones, The Little Dog Laughed), who also delivered a fresh book for the Broadway production of Sister Act, will "re-chart" the journey of the classic tale in a new way. Retaining all classic elements of the fairytale, it will now be Cinderella's turn to rescue the Prince.

Beane's treatment will also incorporate songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue, as well as songs from the original television version, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible," "Ten Minutes Ago" and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?"

Various stage and film productions of Cinderella have been studded with rarities from the Rodgers and Hammerstein trunk, including cut songs from South Pacific and Oklahoma! Through the years, such hits as "The Sweetest Sounds" and "Falling in Love With Love" have also found their way into Cinderella.

Cinderella was written for television and had its premiere in 1957 with Julie Andrews in the title role. A 1965 made-for-television version starred Lesley Ann Warren, Celeste Holm and Ginger Rogers. The 1997 television remake featured Brandy and Whitney Houston. It has been licensed as a stage property since 1958.

From Could a Reconceived ‘Cinderella’ Get Invited to a Broadway Ball?

Calling Mr. Beane’s book “somewhat revisionist,” Ms. Goodman said that the biggest twist was having Cinderella “rescue the prince by teaching him good values.” She described the plot as blending political satire (to interest adult theater-goers) with slapstick humor and the familiar story of cruel stepsisters, a fairy godmother, and a magic pumpkin (to appeal to children and teenagers). Mr. Beane also sought inspiration from various literary adaptation of the tale.

Mr. Chapin said that Mr. Beane was given plenty of latitude to reconceive the story for modern audiences. He added that the playwright had expanded the score to include a few songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein trunk that had been cut from some of their other musicals, such as a song called “Now Is the Time” that was written for “South Pacific” and “I’ve Lived and I’ve Loved” from “The Sound of Music.” No classic songs from other shows will be interpolated for “Cinderella,” Mr. Chapin said.

The new story does not include Cinderella’s mother and father (but fear not, the step-mother lives), Ms. Goodman said, nor is there a king and queen living in the castle with the prince. “Instead there is a guy who oversees the kingdom for the prince,” she said, described this regent figure as “a kind of Dick Cheney character.”

And finally because a director brings us one major step closer to the stage:

From New Broadway Cinderella Will Reunite Director Mark Brokaw With Writer Douglas Carter Beane by Kenneth Jones:

Mark Brokaw, the director who gave shape to productions of Paul Vogel's How I Learned to Drive and Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown, will direct the first Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, producer Robyn Goodman announced on Jan. 12. Tony Award nominee Beane was previously announced as the adapter of the script for the new version.

New Brave (2012) Trailer

It's definitely using folklore. And I so want this one to be good.

And in case you haven't seen the older trailer.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Syfy's New Fairy Tale Film: Witchslayer Gretl and Black Forest

The Syfy (Silly*) Channel is having an enchanted Saturday this week on 2/25/2012. They are re-airing Red: Werewolf Hunter which premiered last year starring Felicia Day as well as two new films in one night, Black Forest and Witchslayer Gretl (also titled Gretl: Witch Hunter on the SyFy site, great way to simplify the branding, Syfy, it's not clear which title is preferred). Beauty and the Beast (2010) is not on the schedule but two premieres in one day is impressive.

And the campiness will be thick across your screen, so be warned.

From the SyFy press release at the Examiner:

Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga) and Shannen Doherty (90210) become embroiled in two dark takes on the increasingly popular fairy tale genre – the first ever Syfy Original Movie Double Feature.

Black Forest, starring Tinsel Korey and Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire), tells the chilling story of tourists lost in a magical forest, who battle evil fairy tale creatures plotting to kidnap one of their babies and slaughter the rest of them. A production of UFO Films, Black Forest airs Saturday, February 25 at 7PM (ET/PT).

Shannen Doherty and Paul McGillion (Stargate Atlantis) star in Gretl: Witch Hunter, premiering Saturday, February 25 at 9PM (ET/PT). Twenty years after his encounter with the witch, a grown-up Hansel returns to the haunted forest, seeking revenge. But there's a surprise waiting -- his sister Gretl (who he thought had been killed) is the witch's protégée. Gretl: Witch Hunter is a production of Vesuvius Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.

Here is a promo for both movies, very short:

Here is the official promo for Witchslayer Gretl:

Here is a longer preview for Gretl:

There was a longer promo video on but I couldn't find a version to embed here. Be warned that Snow White doesn't make it after meeting the dwarves....

*I am NOT calling science fiction and fantasy silly here. I am still protesting SciFi Channel's rebranding into a silly name as well as logo design that now looks like Silly whenever I first look at it. I know there's a long standing debate over the diminuitive term 'sci-fi' which never much mattered to me but I find syfy rather insulting myself for some reason.

And then one sees movies like these and begins to wonder anyway... But I never miss Merlin (even if it is BBC) and Face Off can be fun.

Tools of Change: LeVar Burton's Address

No, not really fairy tale related, but I enjoyed and thought I would share since many readers here are very interested in this topic. LeVar Burton and Fred Rogers are some of my personal heroes with their work with children as well as literacy. I'm too old to have benefited from Reading Rainbow directly, but its resonance has touched my work many times over. This was filmed at the Tools of Change conference in January 2012 where the future of publishing was discussed and explored.

And, yes, now I want to go watch some Star Trek, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Win a Copy of The Next Full Moon by Carolyn Turgeon

The Next Full Moon by Carolyn Turgeon will be released on March 13th and Carolyn has offered up a copy for a giveaway here on SurLaLune.

She and I have been trying to come up with a fun giveaway idea--I like to make you work for it a little--by providing a question to answer.

Carolyn's thoughts:

Well the book's about a 12-year-old girl who, to her extreme embarrassment, begins growing feathers, and eventually a feathered robe, and then discovers that her mother (whom she thought died when she was a child) was (and is) a swan maiden... It's based on the old swan maiden stories but here's the child left behind... So it could be something like "what do you imagine happened to the swan maiden's children?" (after recounting some old tales...) Or "what would you do if YOU started growing feathers?" Or maybe something about the magical feathered robe and/or magical objects generally..???

And I am not sure how familiar many of the readers here are with Swan Maiden tales. I have the tale up on SurLaLune for annotation, but it's not annotated although variants and interpretations are listed there. And, for full disclosure, a Swan Maiden collection from SurLaLune is slated for release in 2013. I have so MANY variants collected now, but I need to edit, translate and gloss to produce a worthy book. But that's a while off. Until I started reading so much about fairy tales, I myself was most familiar with the Swan Lake ballet more than any other version of Swan Maiden stories. The ballet is a derivative of the ATU 400 Swan Maiden tales that are quite abundant in parts of the world.

So I will leave it open--share your thoughts on Swan Maidens, from your lack of familiarity to a favorite version to how you would reimagine it. Comment here or send me an email to share. I will draw a name from the entries to win a copy of the book. Deadline is March 9, 2012.

Book description:

This thoroughly compelling, gorgeously told tale, begins as the weather turns warm enough to swim in the local lake, twelve-year-old Ava is looking forward to a lazy summer, and her crush, Jeff is most definitely taking notice of her. Everything is going beautifully. Until Ava starts to grow feathers—all over her shoulders, arms, and back. Horrified, mortified, and clad in a hoodie, she hides out in her bedroom missing her dead mother and worrying about the summer, and the rest of her freakish life... Carolyn Turgeon has a gift for imagining magical worlds. In Ava’s case, this other-worldly place belongs to the Swan Maidens, one of whom is Ava’s mother. Ava goes back and forth between middle school and this magical realm taking the reader along for an exhilarating, extraordinary ride.

The Truth About Germany: Fairy Tales

No, I haven't forgotten that I have not finished my Grimm Legacies coverage. I have a few papers yet to cover and hope to do that in the next few days. (I have been swamped with some other projects the last few weeks since I returned.) However, I wanted to share this video about fairy tales in Germany that Jack Zipes shared during his keynote at Grimm Legacies, demonstrating both the kitsch and ongoing legacy of the tales in Germany.

Here's a description, too:

In this installment of roving reporter Michael Wigge's quest for the truth about Germany, he explores why Germans are so good at fairy tales. Just look at the Brothers Grimm whose book on fairy tales is the most widely read German cultural book in the world and translated into more than 160 languages and dialects. Wigge visits the Fairy Tale Park "Frau Holleland", and goes to Polle, the alleged home of Cinderella.

Professor Don Haase Talks About Why He Studies Fairy Tales

Dr. Don Haase is a Professor of German Studies in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He is also an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Haase is also well known among many readers here as the editor of Reception of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions (Amazon has a copy bargain priced for $8.78 when I built this link, but no cover image, alas. Someone snatch it up quick! Worth every penny!) and the The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales 3-volume set which is rumored to be getting an expanded edition. (I haven't followed up on that!) and Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Approaches (Fairy-Tale Studies).

And he is series editor of the Fairy Tales and Folklore Studies Series in Fairy-Tale Studies from Wayne State, too.

And he's also just a generous and enjoyable scholar...he is also on Twitter if you are interested in following him!

Once Upon a Crime on ABC's Castle

I wrote a few weeks ago about the Once Upon a Crime episode of the upcoming episode of Castle on ABC here in the US on February 27th. Now there is a preview. This is the second time the series has played with fairy tales, so kudos to the writers!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

See Efteling, Hear Fairy Tale Music: André Rieu in Wonderland

Last week Gypsy posted about a book published in conjunction with Efteling, the fairy tale inspired theme park in the Netherlands. I have been collecting fairy tale themed travel destinations for a while and always plan to do a series of posts, but I've been so overrun this month with projects outside SurLaLune that I think I am going to use some of the travel posts for some of the days remaining this month. This post isn't quite travel nor quite a fairy tale music post, but borrows from both actually. I will be posting more about Efteling in the near future, but I wanted to share this DVD/CD combo featuring André Rieu playing a concert in Efteling. The music is fairy tale and folklore inspired and the video shows imagery from inside the theme park, too.

I have a preview video below as well as this description. This one is very safe for the entire family, in fact it is more geared to young families from what I can see in the preview. And, yes, this one also shows how ubiquitous Disney is, in a competing theme park no less.

André Rieu - In Wonderland. To the music of Thus spake Zarathustra the gates open to reveal an enchanting, fairy-tale world. There are stunning melodies, recorded at Efteling, one of the worlds most beautiful fairy-tale theme parks, and performed by André Rieu, his orchestra and choir and some fantastic soloists. It is a fascinating, magical film, exciting and amusing from beginning to end. This fabulous, fairy-tale DVD has contributions from Suzan Erens, Carmen Monarcha, Carla Maffioletti, Mirusia Louwerse, Brian Dickerson, the Platinum Tenors, soloists from the Ballet of the Vienna State Opera, the International Dance Theatre, and the Berlin Folk-Music Sparrows. Its a unique DVD with an enchanting atmosphere and wonderful, fairy-tale melodies, performed by top soloists. Enjoy the most beautiful fairy-tale music including Swan Lake, Hansel and Gretel, Solveigs Song, the Sabre Dance, the Old Castle, Cinderella, the Magic Flute, and all the wonderful fairy-tale characters. Come away with us to the land of fairies, elves and a thousand-and-one nights, and live happily ever after.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Call for Papers: AFS Folk Narrative Section & Grimms Bicentennial

Before I post this call for papers, I wanted to wholeheartedly endorse the AFS (American Folklore Society) if you are interested in fairy tales. I attended the annual meeting in 2010 and met many wonderful people. Schedule conflicts kept me from attending last year, but I hope this year I can arrange to attend again, especially since Linda (who you may have met at Grimm Legacies) and Adam are working hard to increase the fairy tale element of this year's conference.

Here's the description:

Hello everybody!

As you are all probably aware, 2012 marks the bicentennial anniversary of the first publication of the Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmarchen. In honor of this fact, the AFS Folk Narrative Section is looking to sponsor a series of pre-organized paper sessions, Diamond sessions, forums, and / or media sessions at this year's American Folklore Society Meeting devoted to the history, the impact, and the future of the Grimms's collection.

We are interested in any Grimms-related topic that you might propose, including those related to this year's meeting theme, "The Continuity and Creativity of Culture".

Additional possible ideas include:

* The sources, analogues, and informants of the Grimms
* The impact of the collection on scholarly and popular audiences
* The impact of the collection in different nations
* The publication history, and / or reception, of the collection in its different editions
* The collection as literature for children, adults
* The legacy of the collection, and the revision of Grimm tales, in literature
* The legacy of the Grimms, and / or the collection in popular culture (including films, television, graphic novels, advertising, on the web)
* The Grimms and the digital humanities

If you have a paper topic in mind, but need to find a panel, please feel free to use the Folk Narrative Section's social media tools: we recommend our Facebook group and Google+ page as great ways to
coordinate with like-minded potential AFS-goers.

If you have an organized session that you would like the Folk Narrative section to sponsor, please let us know. We are, as always, reachable via email at azolkove (a) or linda.lee (a)

The Folk Narrative section will also be sponsoring our second biennial Stith Thompson Lecture. We are pleased to announce that our speaker this year will be Kay Stone. Look for more information about that event soon.

And remember, the deadline for proposals for the AFS 2012 Meetings in New Orleans, LA is coming up March 31st, so organizing your panel and getting in touch with us sooner than later is a very good idea.


Adam D. Zolkover & Linda J. Lee

Call for Papers: Proposed Book Project on Fairy Tales on TV

The deadline for submissions has passed on this one, but I wanted to share since it is very relevant to this audience and gives us something to hopefully look forward to being published. The biggest regret is that full seasons of Once Upon a Time and Grimm won't be finished, or just barely, by the time the papers are due.

Call for Papers: Proposed Book Project on Fairy Tales on TV
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman

Pauline Greenhill and Jill Rudy are soliciting proposals for a book project, tentatively titled Supernaturally Grimm: Fairy Tales on TV, which will gather new, original, previously unpublished essays covering a range of aspects of fairy tales on television. Submissions may address such areas as: specific series, like the current Grimm and Once Upon a Time shows or Nickelodeon’s animated Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics, which use fairy tales as organizing themes; fairy-tale themed episodes in series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Muppet Babies, and Rocky and Bullwinkle’s "Fractured Fairy Tales;” made-for-television feature-length fairy tale adaptations, like Catherine Breillat’s Bluebeard; uses in made-for-television films of fairy tale images and themes as in the Red Riding trilogy; television auteurs who often use fairy tales like Joss Whedon or Rob Tapert; fairy tale television fandom; themes in fairy tale television including crime and vampirism; fairy-tale premised reality television shows like the Canadian LGBT Fairy Tale; made-for-television mini-series like The 10th Kingdom; specials, like holiday presentations of The Nutcracker; and other topics. We are interested in live-action and animated material for children and adults and will be happy to consider additional ideas not specified here. Anticipating a wide readership, we prefer projects that would be accessible, yet challenging, for an upper-level undergraduate audience as well as graduate students and specialists in a variety of fields.

Please send a 250-500 word (strict limit) abstract with title to both Jill Rudy and Pauline Greenhill by January 15, 2012. Please also send a 1-2 page c.v., with current position and relevant publications. Please send as an email attachment in Word. Decisions will be made by January 31, 2012 and confirmations sent shortly thereafter. Quality drafts of 8-10,000 words including notes and bibliography (Chicago online author-date style) will be expected for May 31, 2012.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us both.

Pauline Greenhill: p.greenhill (a)

Jill Rudy: jill_rudy (a)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ballet: The Most Incredible Thing by Hans Christian Andersen

The above is a video of a ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, scored by The Pet Shop Boys and based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen of the same name. It is really quite fascinating, but then I adore dance and find this mesh of modern music and an Andersen tale works more than it doesn't for me. You may read the tale here. And I love how Andersen's papercuts were included in the visual design of the ballet.

You can read more about the music at Wikipedia and the production's press release on the Pet Shop Boys site (where I found these images) and the first 10 minutes of the video above discuss the development of the ballet before showing the actual performance. So far it has only been performed in the UK, but according to Wikipedia:

After four public preview performances, "The Most Incredible Thing" had its official opening on 21 March 2011 at Sadler's Wells in London. Performances continued until 26 March, and all tickets were sold out. "The Most Incredible Thing" will return to Sadler's Wells in 2012 for two weeks prior to going on tour. The entire production was filmed by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Four on 1 July 2011.

I don't imagine it will come to the US soon, not near me at least, but it at least did well enough to be performed again this year and go on tour.

The Most Incredible Thing: Complete Ballet Score soundtrack is available here in the US and the UK.

Here's a brief description:

Limited two CD release in special packaging. 2011 release from Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (AKA Pet Shop Boys) , the music for their first ever full-length ballet, The Most Incredible Thing is a collaboration with choreographer Javier De Frutos and Britain's leading contemporary dance theatre, Sadler's Wells. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson story of the same title. Tennant and Lowe proposed Andersen's story as the basis for a new ballet to Sadler's Wells in London in 2007 after a friend, the then Royal Ballet principal, Ivan Putrov, asked Neil Tennant if Pet Shop Boys would consider writing a piece of music for him to dance to at Sadler's Wells. The story is about a competition in a mythical kingdom where the King announces that whoever invents the most incredible thing will win the hand of the Princess in marriage and half of the Kingdom. What follows is creative, destructive but ultimately happy.