Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grimm's fairy tales

Grimm's fairy tales was one of the first reading as part of Fantasy and Science Fiction course at coursera.

It is a collection of fairy tales that were mostly present in oral form coming down from generations. Grimm Brothers are said to have merely compiled them all in one place.  So in a sense they are not Grimm's fairy tales per say in the sense that they were not imagined by them.

While reading Grimm's fairy tales, one thing that surprised me was its richness. Cindrella, Hansel and Grethel, Rapunzel, Snow white every whose who of fairy tales that i had heard before is present here. It was incredible to read from the source of all of those stories, what an amazing effort is this book!

Typically one associates fairy tales with morals or teachings about good behavior. Grimm's tales  do not. There are stories where the one who is shrewd wins, cheaters cheat and are rewarded, lies are often met with favorable outcomes. There are few stories with morals but very few. In a sense these tales are true reflection of our society's norms that one would expect from fairy tales. Behind speaking animals, witches and magic, there lies a very close commentary on human behavior and reasoning.

It is an interesting read. I think it was a perfect start to the course as fairy tales indeed are our first introduction to the world of fantasy. This blog is written mid-way into this course and looking back, i am happy that it started with fairy tales. The content has been maturing (or rather getting dark) week over week.

There is a also a HBO movie about the world of Grimm brothers, i have watched its first 30 mins and it is quite interesting. Grimm brothers had money issues. One of the brothers was very much into this project, he often gave money to local women in exchange for stories. While the other one used to cover him up both professionally and financially. Need to finish the movie soon.


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