Miners, Gnomes, Kobolds, Wolves, and the Hooded One of the Harz Mountain
October 13, 2014 3:14 PM   Subscribe

"It is somewhat of a mystery why the English-speaking world has had to wait until 1981 for the first translation of the Deutsche Sagen (German Legends) by the Brothers Grimm. After all, the Legends, which first appeared in 1816 and 1818, were translated into French, Danish, and even Rumanian in the nineteenth century, and have always been considered a vital source book for folklorists and critics alike. Perhaps we have always assumed that the German Legends had been translated since many of them are known through romances, novels, adaptations, selective translations, films, comic books, and references in critical studies. The two most famous examples are Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser and Robert Browning's 'The Children of Hameln.'"
-Jack Zipes, in an approving review of Donald Ward's translation of the Legends. Ward's work has since fallen out of print, but you can read select legends at the eclectic Golden Scales folktale collection.
posted by Iridic (3 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Just came in here to say that Jack Zipes is an amazing writer/literary critic. Years ago I took a course during undergrad: "Discourses of Masculinity and Femininity in Fairy Tales" and was introduced to his work. Specifically, "Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England". Definitely worth reading.
posted by Fizz at 3:57 PM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

I've wanted to read the legends for ages, but have never found a copy. There's a nice review of it by Angela Carter in this collection of her essays and reviews, which I can't find online. In it she quotes this tale, which is just wonderful in every way:

"Once a man was riding through a forest late in the evening when he saw two children sitting next to each other. He admonished them to go home and not to tarry any longer. But the two began laughing loudly. The man rode on and after a while he encountered the same two children who began laughing once again."
posted by dng at 5:05 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]

Jack Zipes was also a pretty awesome professor (now retired, I believe). I met my best friend in his class "Jewish Writers and Rebels" and I aspire to create wonderful cohesive classes like his "Feminism and Fairy Tales," which led to some of the weirdest discussions of my life.

In that class, we read his book "The Great Fairy Tale Tradition," which I recommend. I'll have to check out "Don't Bet on the Prince," thanks, Fizz.
posted by MsDaniB at 11:48 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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