Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Book: Grimms' Tales around the Globe: The Dynamics of Their International Reception edited by Vanessa Joosen and Gillian Lathey

Grimms' Tales around the Globe: The Dynamics of Their International Reception edited by Vanessa Joosen and Gillian Lathey is released this week. It is the first release of several in 2014 in Wayne State University Press's Series in Fairy-Tale Studies.

That cover will certainly grab your attention! It's not like any other fairy tale criticism book sitting on my shelves! Manga fans will recognize it from Junko Mizuno's Hansel and Gretel (Viz Graphic Novel).

WSUP sent me a review copy (thank you!) and while I haven't finished reading it, it is fascinating reading so far. When I first read about it several months ago, the book description reminded me of Reception of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions edited by Donald P. Haase (which is bargain priced currently!). Haase's book has a narrower geographic focus. Haase also happens to be the general editor of this series from WSU Press so he in a way is getting to expand the published works on a topic he is quite knowledgeable about specifically--the Grimms, their translations, and their impact that is. He knows a lot about other fairy tale areas, of course, but the Grimms are one of his specialties.

But back to the new book. This new title, Grimms' Tales around the Globe: The Dynamics of Their International Reception, expands the geography of the discussion about the Grimms' impact globally. Yes, Europe is here with articles about Spain, Croatia, and Poland, for example. But we also get China, India, Korea, and Japan. Colombia is represented, too. I've included the table of contents below to illustrate the breadth of topics and regions.

The book starts strong from page one with a robust introduction discussing how the Grimms have generally been translated, disseminated, and even assimilated into other cultures. The intro is worth the price of admission alone. After all, as it points out, "the Brothers Grimm are also listed in the top ten most frequently translated authors in the world." Anyone who has ever dabbled in translation literary works can appreciate the diversity of those translations, depending on the purposes of the translator (and his/her publisher). Economics and cultural preferences impact the decisions made as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the translator and the diversity between languages.* The accompanying articles delve into these topics from a variety of perspectives that will fascinate you. You will not find the usual suspects of fairy tale literary criticism within, at least not much. This book feels--starting from its cover--very fresh and modern.

On a practical note, it will also provide some fun scope for student papers, for those students searching for academic resources for unusual Grimms discussions.

Book description:

Grimms' fairy tales are among the best-known stories in the world, but the way they have been introduced into and interpreted by cultures across the globe has varied enormously. In Grimms' Tales around the Globe, editors Vanessa Joosen and Gillian Lathey bring together scholars from Asia, Europe, and North and Latin America to investigate the international reception of the Grimms' tales. The essays in this volume offer insights into the social and literary role of the tales in a number of countries and languages, finding aspects that are internationally constant as well as locally particular.

In the first section, Cultural Resistance and Assimilation, contributors consider the global history of the reception of the Grimms' tales in a range of cultures. In these eight chapters, scholars explore how cunning translators and daring publishers around the world reshaped and rewrote the tales, incorporating them into existing fairy-tale traditions, inspiring new writings, and often introducing new uncertainties of meaning into the already ambiguous stories. Contributors in the second part, Reframings, Paratexts, and Multimedia Translations, shed light on how the Grimms' tales were affected by intermedial adaptation when traveling abroad. These six chapters focus on illustrations, manga, and film and television adaptations. In all, contributors take a wide view of the tales' history in a range of locales-including Poland, China, Croatia, India, Japan, and France.

Grimms' Tales around the Globe shows that the tales, with their paradox between the universal and the local and their long and world-spanning translation history, form a unique and exciting corpus for the study of reception. Fairy-tale and folklore scholars as well as readers interested in literary history and translation will appreciate this enlightening volume.

Table of Contents:


I. Cultural Resistance and Assimilation

1. No-Name Tales: Early Croatian Translations of the Grimms’ Tales
Marijana Hameršak

2. Polishing the Grimms’ Tales for a Polish Audience: Die Kinder- und Hausmärchen in Poland
Monika Wozniak

3. The Grimms’ Fairy Tales in Spain: Translation, Reception, and Ideology
Isabel Hernández and Nieves Martín-Rogero

4. The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm in Colombia: A Bibliographical History
Alexandra Michaelis-Vultorius

5. “They are still eating well, and living well”: The Grimms’ Tales in Early Colonial Korea
Dafna Zur

6. The Influence of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales on the Folk Literature Movement in China (19181943)
Dechao Li

7. The Grimm Brothers’ Kahaniyan: Hindi Resurrections of the Tales in Modern India by Harikrishna Devsare
Malini Roy

8. Before and after the “Grimm Boom”: Reinterpretations of the Grimms’ Tales in Contemporary Japan
Mayako Murai

II. Reframings, Paratexts, and Multimedia Translations

9. Translating in the “Tongue of Perrault”: The Reception of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen in France
Cyrille François

10. Skeptics and Enthusiasts: Nineteenth-Century Prefaces to the Grimms’ Tales in English Translation
Ruth B. Bottigheimer

11. German Stories/British Illustrations: Production Technologies, Reception, and Visual Dialogue across Illustrations from “The Golden Bird” in the Grimms’ Editions, 18231909
Sara Hines

12. Marvelous Worlds: The Grimms’ Fairy Tales in GDR Children’s Films
Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

13. Retelling “Hansel and Gretel” in Comic Book and Manga Narration: The Case of Philip Petit and Mizuno Junko
Marianna Missiou

14. Fairy-Tale Scripts and Intercultural Conceptual Blending in Modern Korean Film and Television Drama
Sung-Ae Lee


*I've never shared my woe over translating tales and spending HOURS trying to decide on what words to use for spinning and cloth production implements. The implements could be regional, archaic, and hard to describe, especially to a world who mostly doesn't spin any more. Sometimes the implements were archaic and not well known when the tale was written down two hundred years ago. How could I hope to choose the right words for them for English readers? Never mind the further difficulties of narrator's tone, setting, character names, etc.

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