Monday, September 3, 2012

BBC Radio: Authors to celebrate 200th anniversary of Grimms' tales


First, A few loyal SurLaLune readers shared this with me. Thanks to Spike and Christine!

Since this is more press release than article, I'm copying the entire thing here. From Authors to celebrate 200th anniversary of Grimms' tales:

Five leading writers are to celebrate the tales of the Brothers Grimm in a series of readings and insights to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Philip Pullman, John Agard, Sir Terry Pratchett, Carol Ann Duffy and Michael Morpurgo are participating in the week-long series for the In Tune programme.

Grimms' Fairy Tales, written by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, was first published in 1812.

The five authors will discuss the influence of the stories on their work.

Interviewed by presenter Suzy Klein, author Philip Pullman, creator of the His Dark Materials trilogy, described the Grimm brothers' tales as timeless.

"They take basic human situations - wife, husband, father, son, king, subject, life, death - and illustrate them with such simplicity and clarity that they can't help resonating throughout the ages."

The Grimm brothers collected their folk tales from friends and old books, and many date back thousands of years.

They are available in more than 100 languages and have been adapted for the screen in films such as Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella.

Pullman will read an extract from one of his new tales, The Three Snake Leaves, which appears in his book reimagining the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

He will also reflect on how Grimms' Fairy Tales has had an influence on his celebrated His Dark Materials trilogy.

Radio 3 audiences will also hear from playwright and poet John Agard, who wrote the poetry anthology Goldilocks on CCTV, which transforms the romantic German heroines of the Grimms' tales into adventurers and troublemakers in a contemporary, multicultural society.

And Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will explain how the Grimm brothers' heroes and villains have appeared in many of her collections, including The World's Wife and Beast and Beauties.

The interviews will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, beginning on Monday 3 September.

You can also read more at The Guardian:

The writers on the Radio 3 shows offer their own interpretations of the tales. Terry Pratchett said his work was heavily influenced by the Grimms and his story, The Amazing Morris and his Educated Rodents, is a retelling of their Pied Piper of Hamelin. "They [Grimms' tales] hang in the ether. We probably first met them at school," he said. Because of this he used the tales extensively in his work; "knowing that we all know the fairy tales means that someone like me can play a lot of tunes with them knowing that I don't have to explain an awful lot to people".


And on Graeme Kay's blog.

It seemed a simple idea. Take five of the country’s leading writers, put them in a studio and ask them to read their version of a Brothers Grimm story. What better way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the most beloved fairy tales in the world? How exciting, to place these great writers side by side and spot all their many differences.

The Grimm Tales, Sir Terry Pratchett told us, ‘seem to exist in the ether’: Goldilocks, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, in paintings, stories, films, songs, plays, operas, twisted versions without the happy endings, cleaned up stories for children with all the blood and gore removed, strongly moral retellings, dusty books with illustrations and plates, ballets, fashion shoots, Disney, Disney, and more Disney. The Grimm’s Fairy Tales are everywhere, and in each re-imagining they are enormously different.

Like most children, I read the Grimm Tales and loved them, confusing them in my mind with all the other stories and legends I came across. I first discovered the Grimm Tales rewritten through Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife. Her poems led me to Angela Carter and Marina Warner, and from there I was hooked. Then this spring Penguin announced that Philip Pullman would be producing a new volume for this anniversary, I discovered that In Tune presenter Suzy Klein also loved the Grimm Tales, and this miniature series was born.

I haven't quite figured out the listening options for those in the UK and those outside it, but here is a list of the upcoming episodes (this link won't archive for those reading this past this week).


  1. UK listeners will be able to listen to the show via BBC iPlayer:
    I'm not sure if listeners outside the UK will be able to hear it via this link, but many BBC radio programmes have their own podcasts which are downloadable across the world...

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