Books, Coursera, Personal Project

Book 308: Household Stories – Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm - Household StoriesI haven’t written about it yet, but I will in the near future, but I signed up for my first Coursera course! It is called Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World and so far I’m enjoying it. Household Stories was our first reading and looking at Goodreads, EVERYONE who reads the Lucy Crane/Wlater Crane version seems to have taken that same Coursera course! I’m seriously looking forward to the other books and stories we’ll read for the course and this was a great start.

What I found most interesting about the collection was the obsession with food and with fallen females. Every story was somehow related to food (needing food, wanting food, having too much food, etc.) or dealt with a female character (human or anthropomorphic) who caused troubles for other characters (the adulteress Mrs. Fox and the numerous wicked step-mothers among others).

I wasn’t in the least bit surprised about the violence and the raw nature of the stories (I’ve heard the legends of the legends :-D), but there were a couple where I was like WHOA you told that to your children! But I guess that’s why older generations were much less “gimme gimme” and much more “yes ma’am, no sir.”

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed this book mostly because the stories were so short and there were so many I was already familiar with! It was great to read an original (translated of course) version of Little Red Riding Hood, or as she was known Little Red Cap and to read the original Cinderella, or as she was known Aschenputtel. I’m not sure how you pronounce that, but I pronounced it as “ashen poodle,” which is great! I also didn’t realize Sleeping Beauty‘s real name was Rosamund. Isn’t she called Aurora in Disney or is that someone else?

Recommendation: It was a quick read and it’s freely available to anyone who wants to read it (on Amazon, Open Media and Project Gutenberg). I’m glad I read the Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations, it was fascinating to see what they focused on and how they chose to highlight the works.

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