Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Book: Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes

Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes is officially released next week despite its 2015 copyright date and it is shipping now. A review copy arrived on my doorstep yesterday so I haven't had sufficient time to spend with it, but next week on the official release date, most of you readers in the U.S. are going to have Thanksgiving on the brain, not nonfiction folklore books. So I'm trying to post about the nonfiction titles this week and will focus on lighter-hearted stuff next week--toys and such.

You can read the introduction to the book on the Princeton University Press website at Introduction.

And, yes, this book can be considered a companion to The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition which is also currently the #1 Bestseller in Mythology & Folk Tales on Amazon. In that book, Zipes offers us the earliest published versions of the Grimms' tales. In this one, he discusses the history, impact--yes, the legacy--of these collected tales which is usually considered one of the bestselling books of all time. That last bit is not easily provable since there have been countless editions of the tales, too, but the Grimms easily surpass other bestsellers, even Harry Potter, in history. (For a discussion of bestselling book stats in all time--which leaves out the Grimms--see The 21 Best-selling Books of All Time.)

Book description:

In Grimm Legacies, esteemed literary scholar Jack Zipes explores the legacy of the Brothers Grimm in Europe and North America, from the nineteenth century to the present. Zipes reveals how the Grimms came to play a pivotal and unusual role in the evolution of Western folklore and in the history of the most significant cultural genre in the world—the fairy tale.

Folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm sought to discover and preserve a rich abundance of stories emanating from an oral tradition, and encouraged friends, colleagues, and strangers to gather and share these tales. As a result, hundreds of thousands of wonderful folk and fairy tales poured into books throughout Europe and have kept coming. Zipes looks at the transformation of the Grimms’ tales into children’s literature, the Americanization of the tales, the “Grimm” aspects of contemporary tales, and the tales’ utopian impulses. He shows that the Grimms were not the first scholars to turn their attention to folk tales, but were vital in expanding readership and setting the high standards for folk-tale collecting that continue through the current era. Zipes concludes with a look at contemporary adaptations of the tales and raises questions about authenticity, target audience, and consumerism.

With erudition and verve, Grimm Legacies examines the lasting universal influence of two brothers and their collected tales on today’s storytelling world.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures ix
Preface: Legacies and Cultural Heritage xi
Introduction The Vibrant Body of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales, Which Do Not Belong to the
Grimms 1
Chapter One German Popular Stories as Revolutionary Book 33
Chapter Two Hyping the Grimms' Fairy Tales 58
Chapter Three Americanization of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales: Twists and Turns of History 78
Chapter Four Two Hundred Years after Once Upon a Time: The Legacy of the Brothers Grimm and
Their Tales in Germany 109
Chapter Five How Superheroes Made Their Way into the World of Fairy Tales: The Appeal of Cooperation and Collective Action from the Greek Myths to the Grimms' Tales and Beyond 131
Chapter Six The Grimmness of Contemporary Fairy Tales: Exploring the Legacy of the Brothers Grimm in the Twenty-First Century 152
Epilogue A Curious Legacy: Ernst Bloch's Enlightened View of the Fairy Tale and Utopian Longing, or Why the Grimms' Tales Will Always Be Relevant 187
Appendix: "About Pincaruolo's Good Feat," by Giovanni Sercambi 197
Notes 205
Bibliography 219
Filmography 247
Index 255

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