Really Reading Grimm

Thanks to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for drawing my attention to the excelsior file. Having just spent some time in the blog’s archives I’ve got to agree with their marking this one a thinking blog — it sure is!

Now one of my interests is fairy tales. I’ve studied them, read them, written about them, talked about them, and will be co-teaching an online Rutgers grad course on them this summer (for the second time — we had a blast doing this course in 2004). I consider myself fairly well informed about the Grimm Brothers tales, but upon reading through the excelsior file, realized that perhaps not as informed as I thought. The gentleman has taken on the task of reading A-Grimm-A-Day with the plan of posting on at least one a week.

Excelsior began with one I know pretty well, “The Frog Prince,” one of those beastly bridegroom variants (hey, what can I say — I spent a summer studying these with a great scholar, Russell Peck at the University of Rochester). But then he moved on to “The Virgin Mary’s Child,” (also known as our ‘Our Lady’s Child”) one I had forgotten entirely. Next he wrote about “A Tale About the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was.” (By the way, excelsior is reading an edition translated by Jack Zipes while I’m linking to the tales in a much older edition at the wonderful surlanlune fairy tale site.) He then posted on “Faithful Johannes”. Most recently, he has posted on the more familiar “The Twelve Brothers.” (I’m a big fan of Birdwing, Rafe Martin’s take on what happened to the youngest brother in that particular tale.)

I’m really enjoying excelsior’s fresh take on these tales. Each post includes his retelling, his commentary and thoughts, and some very cool images. It is an ambitious project and I sure hope he can keep going with it!



Filed under Children's Literature

3 responses to “Really Reading Grimm

  1. Monica, Thanks for this. David’s blog is one of my very favorites, and I particularly love the Grimmoire feature, though I’m behind on reading them.

    As I was telling David before, I once annotated “The Frog King” for a grad course. I’m humbly sharing it with you here, ’cause I love talking Grimm, though I had forgotten about this until David started his Grimm posts. I re-discovered it and posted it to our blog’s server: (if you look at it, please promptly ignore “The Quiz” page, as it’s awful on many levels; I was required to put a quiz in there for the course).

    I — like you — hope that David will keep his Grimmoire posts going.



  2. Jules,

    Thanks so much for providing the link to your “Frog Prince” project. It is wonderful and would be a fantastic resource for anyone researching the tale now.

    Here’s an interesting little tidbit. You did your project in 2002 and Roxanne/fairrosa and I designed our fairy tale course in 2003 . Both of us reference the Ashman site for the Grimm tales. This AM when I did a search for Grimm his site doesn’t show up till the second page and I worried at first that it was gone (as often sadly happened) — how things change!


  3. That’s interesting.

    Thanks for the compliment. I suspect there might be a few broken links in the site (in terms of navigation, such as some “back to top”s and that kind of thing). I need to sit down with it and look at all that. Truly, I just remembered it and pulled it up on my computer after years of it being buried and forgotten deep in old files; like I said, it was David’s wonderful posts on Grimm that made me remember it and want to re-discover it. Updating it would be a great project.

    Anyway, thanks again. Here’s to The Excelsior File.


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