Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Shaun Tan's Grimms Märchen

(US and UK links)

So small parts of the internet--way beyond the usual fairy tale crowd--is in love with Shaun Tan's illustrative work for the German edition of Philip Pullman's Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. The UK (Grimm Tales: For Young and Old) and US editions (Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version) were not illustrated, although the UK edition won the best cover between the two editions in my heart--I love the paper sculpture

Now--and this is funny ironic--Pullman's versions of the German tales (his translations of Grimms) have been translated back into German and published with these illustrations by Shaun Tan which are actually sculptures. And they are minimalistic wonderful. I adore them, too. The book is only available through third party sellers in the US since it isn't licensed for distribution in the states. You can buy it from the German Amazon or even the UK Amazon, too, direct from Amazon's distribution centers. Here are links: Grimms Märchen (US link) and Grimms Märchen (UK link) and Grimms Märchen (DE link).

Cat and Mouse Set Up House

From Shaun Tan's website about the sculptures (follow the link to read more):

So I was a little reluctant at first, but soon began to think of ways I could avoid painiting or drawing altogether. As a child, I was actually more obsessed with sculpture than painting and drawing, working with clay, papier mache and soapstone, and was reminded of this when browsing through my collection of books on folk art and particularly Inuit scultpure and Pre-Columbian figurines from Mexico. Many of these small, hand-sized sculptures are strongly narrative and dreamlike, and offered a 'way in' to thinking about Grimm's stories as part of an old creative tradition. The works I ended up creating hopefully convey the spirit of each tale without actually illustrating them, like anonymous artifacts in a museum open to all kinds of interpretation.

One of my favorites--for Thousandfurs (aka Allerleirauh)

The Fisherman and His Wife

The Frog King (another personal favorite and great pick for the cover)

Godfather Death

The Golden Bird

The Foreword

Hansel and Gretel

I don't know for sure! Guesses anyone?


Gorgeous, aren't they? And remember they are only in the German edition which is harder to acquire outside of Europe. I would love to see the rest, such as for Cinderella and Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces.

And I think the paperback US version needs these, don't you? The paperback in the UK has already been published, alas.

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