Monday, July 23, 2018

Started: Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Just a couple notes here--I'm going to attempt to work through the Grimms' Fairy Tales as part of my new ESL Story Time project.  And I'll post about that separately in the next post.
But I've also been meaning to read the Grimms' Fairy Tales cover-to-cover for years now, so I'm also going to count this as one of my reading projects.  And I'll just make a few quick notes about my interest here.
As a kid, I always thought the Grimm Brothers were like Mother Goose-- a catchall name for an infinite amount of children's stories.
But I became more interested when I learned that the Grimm Brothers were real historical people.  And although their collection of Fairy Tales was massive (200 Fairy Tales, plus ten legends), it was not infinite.  You could buy their collected works and read the whole thing cover-to-cover.
I've been interested in this in part because of my general interest in working through the classics.  (In my never-ending quest to achieve the status of being a "well-read man"). 
But more specifically, I've been interested in the Grimm Brothers since I've learned about their connection to 19th Century history and politics.  (For years now, I've considered 19th Century Europe -to be - my pet historical interest). 
Jacob and Wihelm Grimm lived during the Napoleonic Wars, and were influenced by the burgeoning German nationalism that resulted from Napoleon
Jacob Grimm was politically active, and actually popped as one of the political commentators and players in Revolutions of 1848 by Priscilla Robertson.  (Which I read 10 years ago.)
The Grimms' Fairy Tales are not simply timeless tales which exist in some sort of historical vacuum. Rather, the impulse to collect folk tales from the villages was part of the romantic movement of the 19th Century.  And the impulse to collect and cultivate and preserve folktales from the German speaking villages was part of the emerging German nationalism of the 19th Century.

On another note, the Grimm Brothers were also linguists, and their research on the original Indo-European language actually shows up in some of the books on linguistics I've been reading.  (An Introduction to Language--among other books).

So, anyways, those are all my reasons for being interested in this collection generally.  I wanted to write that here to get it all out of the way before I post about what I plan to do with the ESL Story Time Project specifically. 

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