Happy New Year 2013 and Grimms Fairy Stories
Welcome to 2013 to you all, and I hope that Christmas and the holiday season in general, has been kind and that you have had a chance to chill out, ponder, relax, collect your thoughts and eat way too much food lol. I took the opportunity to take a short break away to Munich and spent an amazing 10 days there which I’ll share with you over the next week or so. Boy do they know how to do christmas.
Another surprise for me was their love of pigs, especially with it being New Year for the pig is a symbol of good luck, so people go crazy for them and they’re everywhere.
Have you even seen such an array of pigs ? But more about Germany and the highlights of my travels soon.
Very aptly, one exhibition that got a little lost in the crowd of things to blog about last year, was illustrations from Grimms’ Fairy Stories, which took place at The Portico Library and Gallery in Manchester. It was a lovely, rustic (and a little old fashioned) style of display with books in cases and photocopies on noticeboards with wonderful imagery.
The Brothers Grimm were Jacob and Wilhelm (1780’s -1860’s) were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who together collected folklore. They are among the most well-known storytellers of European folk tales, and their work popularized such stories as “Cinderella”, “The Frog Prince”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “Rapunzel”, “Rumpelstiltskin”, and “Snow White”. Their first collection of folk tales, Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in 1812. The brothers spent their formative years first in the German town of Hanau and then in Steinau. Their father’s death in 1796, about a decade into their lives, caused great poverty for the family and affected the brothers for many years. They attended the University of Marburg where historian and jurist Friedrich von Savigny spurred their interest in philology and Germanic studies—a field in which they are now considered pioneers—and at the same time developed a curiosity for folklore, which grew into a lifelong dedication to collecting German folk tales.
The rise of romanticism in the 19th century revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the Grimm brothers represented a pure form of national literature and culture. With the goal of researching a scholarly treatise on folk tales, the brothers established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between 1812 and 1857 their first collection was revised and published many times, and grew from 86 stories to more than 200. In addition to writing and modifying folk tales, the brothers wrote collections of well-respected German and Scandinavian mythologies and in 1808 wrote a definitive German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch) that remained incomplete in their lifetime.
The popularity of the Grimms’ collected folk tales endured well beyond their lifetimes. The tales are available in more than 100 translations and have been adapted to popular Disney films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In the mid-20th century the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in the original versions of some of the tales that were sanitized.
The Portico Library is such a wonderful tucked away almost secret building that it doesn’t fail to delight once you come across it’s interior. Situated not far from Manchester’s City Art Gallery, it’s worth keeping an eye out for what exhibitions are on, just to see inside. : )
Many thanks to the Portico for letting me take some images to show you and to Wikipedia for the info about the brothers themselves. Happy 2013 enjoy the start of your new year and I’m delighted that you’ve found your way back to Fishink Blog, and I’m looking forward to sharing another year with you all.