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Finally, one day, when her godmother is dressing her, Rapunzel wonders out loud why her clothes have become so tight. Such bowdlerizing went on for a half century. By the final edition, the stories were far cleaner than at the start. But they were not less violent. The Grimms were told by friends that some of the material in the first edition was too frightening for children, and they did make a few changes.

In later editions, it is the stepmother who makes the suggestion, and the father repeatedly hesitates before he finally agrees. Apparently, the Grimms could not bear the idea that the mother, the person who bore these children, would do such a thing, or that the father would readily consent.

This is an admirable scruple, but a puzzling one, because it is largely absent from other Grimm tales, many of which feature mutilation, dismemberment, and cannibalism, not to speak of ordinary homicide, often inflicted on children by their parents or guardians. Toes are chopped off; severed fingers fly through the air. He comes home one day and she asks him if he wants an apple. But no sooner does the boy lean over the trunk where the apples are stored than she slams the lid down and cuts off his head.

Now she starts to worry. The girl comments that her stepbrother seems pale. Well, give him a slap, the mother says. He loves it. You get used to the outrages, though. They may even come to seem funny. When, in a jolly tale, a boy sees half a man fall down the chimney, are you supposed to get upset? Some stories do tear you apart, usually those where the violence is joined to some emphatically opposite quality, such as peace or tenderness.

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That way, his daughter will inherit more money. So he has twelve coffins built, each with a little pillow. Little pillows! For boys whom he is willing to murder! In sum, the Grimm tales contain almost no psychology—a fact underlined by their brevity. However much detail Wilhelm added, the stories are still extremely short. They come in, clobber you over the head, and then go away.

As with sections of the Bible, the conciseness makes them seem more profound.

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Since the Second World War, some people have argued that the violence of the Grimm tales is an expression of the German character. Of course, the Grimm tales were nationalist: the brothers hoped to make their young readers feel and be more German. But in the nineteenth century there were fervent nationalist campaigns in most European countries.

That is how many Western empires fell. Nazism fed on many trends that, previously, had been harmless—for example, the physical-culture movement of the early twentieth century, the fad for going on nature hikes and doing calisthenics. This became a feature of Nazism—an argument for purity, strength, the soil—but it existed also in countries that fought the Nazis, including the United States. Nevertheless, the Grimms are premier representatives of the nationalism that became Aryanism in the nineteen-twenties and thirties, and the Nazis were grateful to them. After the war, accordingly, the Allies banned the Grimm tales from the school curricula in some cities.

Still today, certain people, notably feminists, would like to move them to the back shelves of the library, because, so often, the villain is a woman, doing violence to girls, and also because the girls seldom resist. Finally, she sinks into utter passivity, immobilized in a glass coffin, waiting for her prince to come. Such feelings are widespread. Over the years, her head has been sawed off repeatedly; she has been blasted off her rock with explosives.

At the same time, some writers have recommended that the feminist critics look more closely at the Grimm collection. Others of the stories have spunky heroines. Writers reluctant to part with the Grimm tales suggested that we go on reading them to our children but point out the poisonous stereotypes they contain.

Other writers have proposed that we revise the tales again. Why not? Why should the Grimms have the last word? She has no idea how to do this. A gnome, Rumpelstiltskin, offers to do the job for her. But, once she marries, he says, she must give him her first child. When, at the end, she reneges on the deal, he becomes so angry that he tears himself in two. He would have climbed on a chair and would have given the queen a kiss on her cheek.

And they would have been happy with each other until the end of their days. Then, there are those who believe that the Grimm tales, whatever their cruelty, are indirectly good for us. Bettelheim argued that fairy tales, by allowing children to attach their unsavory repressed desires to villains dragons, witches who were then conquered, helped the children to integrate and control such desires. To Bettelheim, a Freudian, the most important conflict was the Oedipus complex.

In his view, it was because of that nasty struggle that the Grimm tales so often featured a wicked stepmother. The child is given the opportunity to hate her mother in the form of the stepmother and still, as she does in life, love her mother the real mother, conveniently absent from the tale. Such an interpretation makes some sense. Bettelheim went further, though. To provoke such recoil, you do not have to resemble a sex organ. Furthermore, this particular frog has been pursuing the princess day and night.

Finally, he invades her bed. In response, she picks him up and hurls him against a wall, whereupon he explodes and his little guts dribble down the plaster. While Bettelheim tells us that fairy tales help us adjust, Jack Zipes has said the opposite: that the value of fairy tales is that they teach us not to adjust, because the oppressive society in which we live is something we should refuse to adjust to. Zipes, a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, has written sixty books on or of folk tales: critical studies, collections, translations.

Zipes is a Marxist of the Frankfurt school. He was also heavily influenced by the German philosopher Ernst Bloch and by the student movement of the nineteen-sixties. Such are the mysteries of literary criticism. This makes some of the notes in her edition bewilderingly latitudinarian—she nods to Zipes, to Bettelheim, to Gilbert and Gubar. Also, at times she seems very wide-eyed.

She tries to find some basis for what seems to her the surprising appearance of anti-Semitic feeling in a few of these nineteenth-century stories. Had Wilhelm been consorting with the wrong people? In any case, she says, such characterizations are unfair to Jews. Still, her edition is the one I would recommend. In the second edition, due to be published in October, there will be six new stories and many more pictures. Parents should simply not read it to children. If they give the child the book, they should get an X-Acto knife and slice the story out first.

She asks:. She bundled up her shawl and threw it on the blaze, which instantly consumed it. Then she drew her blouse over her head; her small breasts gleamed as if the snow had invaded the room. And so on with the rest of her clothes. The blizzard died down, leaving the mountains as randomly covered with snow as if a blind woman had thrown a sheet over them, the upper branches of the forest pines limed, creaking, swollen with the fall. Does the violence in the Grimm collection need a symbolic reading? Hence the wicked stepmothers. Often, there was not even porridge.

Each goes out and somehow finds a piece of bread to bring back.

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But it is not enough. This is a hair-raising story, but also, I think, a wishful fantasy—that the children might die without crying. And so you could say that the Grimm tales are no different from other art. They merely concretize and then expand our experience of life. The main reason that Zipes likes fairy tales, it seems, is that they provide hope: they tell us that we can create a more just world.

For that, I felt like it was a Lovely experience to read it. Heather Baker slid her Takamine guitar into its fur-lined case. Artistic success was ninety-nine-percent perspiration. That meant, raw talent accounted for a measly one-percent. If you worked hard enough, you could achieve anything. Her persistence, tenacity and even guts to sing her heart out, that is something I would want myself to have. Like Heather, I couldn't sing! I mean, I can sing..


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Once I tried singing, my friends my only audience coz they have no choice?! That bad!

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I am out of tune! But Heather pursued her dream.. She even enrolled to get a degree in music! I love the determination! Nothing and no one can bring her down, she is such an inspiration. I love how Ms. Heidi link the astrological influences , like how Saturn or Neptune is somewhat affecting the series of things happening in our lives I love how this story warmed my heart.

It made me believe that if we can't be good at something, then we can also be better at another thing. The most important thing was to be open to all the possibilities. Because as we pursue and do the things we loved most.. This happened to Heather.

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So, never give up. Keep pushing. Heather Baker struggles to find the balance between fantasy and reality in her everyday life. Dogged by Saturn, the planet that rules obstacles and everything practical--she's confronted with the limitations of her abilities and talent. But she never gives up. Even though people keep telling her that she can't sing and she has not talent for it whatsoever, Heather is convinced that she can be a sensational singer. She enrolls in a community music school, she gives auditions, she performs in cafes, nut she never loses hope.

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She never stops trying. After many failures, she realises that maybe it wasn't in her destiny to be a singer, but everything she did to make sure she was the next big thing has only helped her. It has built her confidence in herself. She views herself in a new light. This story teaches us that despite the lows in our lives, despite the criticisms, we should never give up. Sep 05, Jennifer Ricketts Donnie Darko Girl rated it really liked it Shelves: recommended , fantasy , review-opportunity.

I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. For twelve years, Heather worked hard towards her dream of becoming an indie musician, but she couldn't sing or play guitar well no matter how much she practiced. She had a lot of strength and determination which I admired. I probably would have given up a long time ago had I been her, but she didn't. She kept on going. This story was one I could relate to as well, and it made me want to go after my dreams proactively like Heather I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

This story was one I could relate to as well, and it made me want to go after my dreams proactively like Heather did. I love it when a story can influence me in a positive way and inspire me to keep trying to achieve my goals. I felt bad for Heather because she didn't realize how other people perceived her lack of musical talent, but at the same time I thought if she had noticed, she might not have made it as far as she did.

Read more of my reviews at my blog, Donnie Darko Girl. You can read it separately but the story is connected to each other. I love the idea that I read a full story about a life of a girl who believes in magic, in this short stories. She has dreams but she also has to struggle with her life and then i "Don't stop before the magic happen" This is the third short story from a collection of She has dreams but she also has to struggle with her life and then in this story, she tries to achieve her dream, though most people say she couldn't do it.

I love how persistent she is. She knows what she wants and try as hard as she can to achieve it. I think the hardest part to make your dream happens is the process to achieve it, the trying part. So when I read about Heather life, there is a part of me that want to be like her. That's the best part of this story. It can connect me and make me think about it long after I read it.

I loved this story! This story follows the inner-journey of a woman desperately reaching for her lifelong dream of music.


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She discovers, that who she thinks she is, and what others perceive her as, are two different things. The character fights physical, mental, emotional, and relational obstacles to her dream, but soldiers on. The writing is active, and keeps your focus locked-in unt I loved this story! The writing is active, and keeps your focus locked-in until the very end.