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Grimm Fairy Tales, a child's first exposure to horror

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Showing 1-25 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 3, 2012 2:43:28 PM PDT
KinksRock says:
How do you all feel about reading the ORIGINAL Grimms' fairy tales to young children -- not the cleaned up, Disneyfied versions? The ones where the evil stepmother is made to dance herself to death wearing redhot metal shoes?
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In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 9:38:09 PM PDT
Jacob King says:
I don't know if original should be in capital letters like that the old german tales collected by the grimm bros. in the 19th century are part of the oral tradition and they just wrote them down (sort of like a bug caught in amber). While there is nothing wrong with reading them to kids they may have dated a bit - what you should do is use them as a basis for making up your own tales or retelling them in your own words that way you can make them as scary/funny as you need to keep the kid entertained.

Posted on May 4, 2012 1:26:05 AM PDT
Nick Jones says:
It was a shocker to find a book of the original tales when I was a young teen; it was like a combination being horrified and rubbernecking at the scene of a fatal accident. I think the stepsisters of Cinderella cutting off their toes and heels to fit into the glass slippers, and later having their eyes pecked out by birds, might be a bit much for the youngsters.

Posted on May 4, 2012 8:32:34 AM PDT
Rick G. says:
It's all about the individual kids, I'd say. Some kids will eat up horror like there's no tomorrow. Others...well you'll scar them for life. :)

For the former, I say go for it. It'll give them something to laugh about if Disney's Cinderella comes on.

Posted on May 4, 2012 9:30:48 AM PDT
MommaCat says:
Hey Kinks! I always wondered about about that as well. I don't think many people know about the original stories and how horrifiying they are. Or where the origin of children's rhymes come from. Things get watered down and people want to shield their kids from reality. Look at the Bible. Now that's some truly scary stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:35:26 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
We had a discussion in one of these threads about how the Bible is the most popular horror novel.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:39:55 AM PDT
MommaCat says:
Do the religios ones admit to it?

Posted on May 4, 2012 9:40:20 AM PDT
MommaCat says:
Can't type today!

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:41:00 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
I don't know. I'm one of the sacrilegious ones.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:44:47 AM PDT
MommaCat says:

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:47:58 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
People being burned alive as they are sucked into the ground. Talking snakes persuading naked women to eat fruit from a magic tree. Plagues torturing an ancient civilations. Sounds like horror to me. (And, on another note, other parts of it sound like porn.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 9:53:48 AM PDT
MommaCat says:
No kidding. Incest, child abuse and abandonment. So many things that people seem to be praying over today, but can't do. I think that I better go now...before my head explodes.

cya soon!

Posted on May 5, 2012 8:41:59 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2012 10:48:20 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012 4:02:35 PM PDT
Stant Litore says:
I entirely agree. Some of the most horrific scenes every written in there. I think because the Bible is a collection of texts dealing with human beings trying to deal with terrible injustices (whether human injustice or the cold "injustice" of the natural world") and trying to determine both where God fits into it, what God might expect of them, and how they should treat each other in a cruel world.

The book of Judges ends with a levite chopping up the murdered body of his lover and sending the pieces to the twelve tribes to demand their help in vengeance on her killers.

Stant Litore

Posted on May 5, 2012 8:11:49 PM PDT
Shannon M. says:
I remember reading the original Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf EATS both the grandmother and the girl, and the woodsman kills the wolf, cuts it open and out spills their bodies.
Then, they sanitized it; can't scare the kiddies, can we? Now, the wolf just "scares grandma" away, "tries" to scare the girl, and the woodsman "runs the wolf off" and saves the day. How lame is that?
Also in the original Hansel and Gretel, they are abandoned in the woods by their stepmother who wants their father, but not them. In the sanitized version, they just "get lost" in the woods.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012 8:48:52 PM PDT
Marc Iverson says:
Yikes, didn't know it had gotten that bad.

Posted on May 5, 2012 9:13:13 PM PDT
recluse says:
Kids are exposed to worse than that on a daily basis.
Movie ads, movies they are seeing on DVD, video games.

All of which lack the redeeming qualities of the old fairy tales.
If you are worried about traumatizing the little darlings, alternate readings of the Brother's Grimm with Aesop's Fables or something.

Posted on May 6, 2012 6:34:05 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
As I kid, my family had a copy of Andrew Lang's "Blue Fairy Book", which had many of Grimm's tales in it - Red Riding Hood, Rumplestilskin, Snow WHite and Rose Red, Blue Beard...all terrifically gory and full of mayhem - particularly Blue Beard. One scene described how BB's wife went into the "forbidden room" and found the parts of BB's previous wives all chopped up, and in various stages of decomp. King, Craven, or Masterson could not have been more graphic. Yes - the Woodcutter DID split open the wolf, and Grandma and LRRH spilled out; Jack the Giant Killer DID trick a Giant into disembowelling himself, and Rumpelstilskin DID grab his own foot and tear himself in two. Originally written in the 1890's, these were "bedtime stories" for children

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 8:26:46 PM PDT
Depends a bit on the age of the children, and the permissiveness and/or media control of the parents/guardians.

On the one hand, I do understand the idea of wanting to keep some of the more gruesome things from the little toddlers - full support there. And yes, some children would deal better with those aspects than others of the same age.

But I do think that the kids would appreciate some of the less sanitized (less Disnified?) versions of the stories. Some of them might be better to wait until they're older (Donkey-Skin comes to mind, as does the original and uncensored Sleeping Beauty) but you could certainly start with some of the ones without the sexual elements that still have the painful deaths, the dismemberment, the abandonment and betrayal...

Just know your children and know what parts they're ready for and what stories should wait until they're older.

I personally felt it made a better story when the greedy people came to a horrible end because enough wasn't enough (older versions of Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, the Old Man and the Magic Fish...). And some of them don't end with 'and they lived happily ever after' - like the original Little Mermaid, though that was Hans Christian Anderson, not the Brothers Grimm.

Posted on May 7, 2012 10:49:52 AM PDT
Irish reader says:
I think these were mostly folk tales - not intended specifically for children, although children would naturally have heard them. And of course times were very different then, being a good deal crueller. Aside from how most of the endings have been revised subsequently, the Grimm brothers made their own alterations as well. For example, the wicked stepmother trope: in reality it was just the wicked mother. The Grimms felt this was a bit much and I guess the notion of a wicked stepmother makes more sense in terms of her motivation etc.

Also read somewhere that the prince didn't just kiss sleeping beauty in order to wake her up...

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 11:06:27 AM PDT
KinksRock says:

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 11:41:22 AM PDT
LOL Irish reader!

I would be a faking sleeping beauty if I could have some Irish Writer...kisses.
John Connolly or Kealan Patrick Burke-I'm talking to you. : )

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 12:06:50 PM PDT
Shannon M. says:
I think that was in The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, an erotic novel written by Anne
Rice. Prince Charming sexed her awake, and then taught her the ways of the submissive. I didn't care for it, because the punishments and humiliations she endured teaching her her "place" were unbearably non-erotic.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 1:23:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 1:24:16 PM PDT
Rick G. says:
"Hey, dad! Can you read us some Grimm fairy tales before bed?"

"Yeah sure..." (accidentally grabs 'The Erotic adventures of Rumplestilskin' off the shelf) :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 1:25:30 PM PDT
KinksRock says:
Yeah, I find that non-erotic, too. (Gulping down water and fanning self.)
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Discussion in:  Horror forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  36
Initial post:  May 3, 2012
Latest post:  May 17, 2012

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