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.
Jack Zipes is the translator and editor of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Princeton), the editor of The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales (Hackett), and the author of Why Fairy Tales Stick, among many other books. He is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.
"In this landmark work of fairy-tale scholarship, Jack Zipes comes to grips with the multiple legacies of the Brothers Grimm in German and Anglo-American cultures. With nuance and inexhaustible insight, Zipes shows how mythmaking, marketing, hype, Americanization, the appeal of collective action, and utopian longing have sustained 'the magic spell' of the Grimms' tales throughout two centuries of use and abuse. Anyone seeking to understand the popularity of the Grimms' fairy tales or their richly diverse reception will do well to begin here."--Donald Haase, editor of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales
"Magisterial and magnificent, Grimm Legacies decodes the intention, reception, and impact of the Grimms' fairy tales as they conquered Germany, the Anglo-American world, and, by way of multifaceted literary and filmic adaptations, the globe. Based on impeccable and informed research, this interpretive book challenges and delights readers with its innovative and detailed investigation of the many legacies of the globalized Grimms' tales."--Wolfgang Mieder, University of Vermont
“A comprehensive look at the origins, evolution, and reception of the Grimms’ tales, laid out with the kind of breadth and depth that only Zipes’s deep and productive engagements with fairy tales in all their vibrant incarnations could produce. Grimm Legacies is rich and informative, and continually finds new territory to explore and fresh ground to cover.”—Maria Tatar, author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm
“Jack Zipes is perhaps the foremost American scholar of the Brothers Grimm—in this book his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Grimm shines through. Zipes portrays the Grimms’ way of thinking from when they started and developed their collection, to their very deaths. This book’s scholarly details are impeccable.”—James Dow, professor emeritus of German, Iowa State University
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Jack Zipes: