Monday, October 24, 2011

Library Essentials: The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar

The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar is today's second library essential. Tatar is nearly as prolific as Jack Zipes so it is hard to choose just one book of hers to feature, thus two for today. This one is particularly helpful in understanding the Grimms and their work.

Book description from the publisher:

Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales figures as the subject matter for this intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Nursery and Household Tales. This updated and expanded second edition includes a new preface and an appendix containing new translations of six tales, along with commentary by Maria Tatar. Throughout the book, Tatar skillfully employs the tools not only of a psychoanalyst but also of a folklorist, literary critic, and historian to examine the harsher aspects of these stories. She presents new interpretations of the powerful stories in this worldwide best-selling book. Few studies have been written in English on these tales, and none has probed their allegedly happy endings so thoroughly.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Expanded Second Edition
Children's Literature?
Sex and Violence: The Hard Core of Fairy Tales
Fact and Fantasy: The Art of Reading Fairy Tales
Victims and Seekers: The Family Romance of Fairy Tales

Born Yesterday: The Spear Side
Spinning Tales: The Distaff Side

From Nags to Witches: Stepmothers and Other Ogres
Taming the Beast: Bluebeard and Other Monsters

Epilogue: Getting Even

App. A: Six Fairy Tales from the Nursery and Household Tales, with Commentary
App. B: Selected Tales from the First Edition of the Nursery and Household Tales
App. C: Prefaces to the First and Second Editions of the Nursery and Household Tales
App. D: English Titles, Tale Numbers, and German Titles of Stories Cited
App. E: Bibliographical Note

General Index
Index of Tales

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