“The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales—related in language that is sharp, lively, and free of jargon—is delightful evidence that Grimm scholarship can give pleasure to the general reader.”—Janet Adam Smith, New York Review of Books
The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales
With a new preface by the author
Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales is the subject of this groundbreaking and intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Nursery and Household Tales. This expanded edition includes a new preface and an appendix featuring translations of six tales with commentary by Maria Tatar. Throughout the book, Tatar draws on the disciplinary tools of psychoanalysis and folklore while also providing historical context to explore the harsher aspects of these stories, presenting new interpretations of tales that engage in a kind of cultural repetition compulsion. No other book so thoroughly challenges us to rethink the happily-ever-after of these classic stories.
Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Her many books include Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany (both Princeton).