The Brothers Grimm’s “Household Stories”

Walter Crane: Sleeping BeautyThe first week’s reading assignment for my online class on Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World was Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm’s Household Stories, as translated by Lucy Crane and illustrated by her brother Walter Crane in 1882.  I found two complete versions online, the facsimile available on Open Library and the Project Gutenberg scan.

In addition, it looks like the English text of the very useful Grimm Stories online resource is preferentially from the Crane translation, although without the illustrations.  The latter is very nice, though, because it allows one to look at the translation side-by-side with the original German text (or with another language).

Anyhow, I had jotted down many pages of reading notes on the stories, but class participants are limited to between 270 and 320 words for their essays, so one has to narrow the focus considerably.  The intended reader is a fellow student who is both intelligent and attentive to the readings and to the course;  the essays must aim to enrich the reading of this peer.  This means we get to skip the preliminaries (such as title, author and summary of the work reviewed) and go directly to insights on the readings.

With so many and so varied stories, I had to skim to only a few since I wanted the space to support my statement by pointing to the works.  I concentrated on stories for which my notes converged on a single topic.  Here is the essay, using every one of my allotted 320 words:  Continue reading “The Brothers Grimm’s “Household Stories””