Read Grimms' Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the Tales by Ruth B. Bottigheimer Free Online
Book Title: Grimms' Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the Tales|
The author of the book: Ruth B. Bottigheimer
ISBN 13: 9780300043891
Edition: Yale University Press
Date of issue: September 10th 1989
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 447 KB
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The fairy tale collection of the brothers Grimm has been a central document in German social and literary history for generations, mined for various purposes by scholars of many persuasions. This book, the first in more than fifty years to examine the entire body of tales, provides a thorough content analysis, focusing in particular on the use of gender in the stories.
Ruth B. Bottigheimer’s close analysis of several major editions of Grimms’ Tales reveals coherent patterns of motif, plot, and image and also affords insight into the moral and social vision of the collection. Bottigheimer discusses, for example, the relationship between transgression and punishment, noting that gender distinctions rather than the severity of the sin determined the consequences of transgressing prohibitions. She finds that in the course of the Tales’ editorial history, speech was systematically taken away from women and given to men. She shows how common elements unite images and themes as disparate as abandonment in the forest, subliminal eroticism, violence, and Christianity in the Tales. And she treats their social and ethical bases, analyzing such aspects of the plots as the workings of the judicial process and the relation of anti-Semitism to the economics of work and money.
According to Bottigheimer, Freudians praise fairy tales as contributing to children’s moral education; although Jungians recognize the gender distinctions inherent in the tales, they treat the collection ahistorically, ignoring its nineteenth-century German origins. By combining a sociohistorical analysis of these stories with close scrutiny of the language in which they are told, Bottigheimer radically alters the uses to which Grimms’ Tales can be put in the future by historians, psychologists, feminists, and educators.
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Read information about the authorRuth B. Bottigheimer, is a Research Professor in the Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York, is a leading historian of European fairy tales. Her conclusion that the most popular modern fairy tale plot originated in Renaissance Venice has been hotly contested and occasioned the October 2010 issue of the Journal of American Folklore. Her publications include Fairy Tales: A New History (2009), Gender and Story in South India, ed. with Lalita Handoo and Leela Prasad (2007), and Fairy Godfather: Straparola, Venice, and the Fairy Tale Tradition (2002). Past publications include The Bible for Children: From the Age of Gutenberg to the Present (1996), Grimm’s Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the Tales (1987), and Fairy Tales and Society: Illusion, Allusion and Paradigm, ed. (1987), as well as articles on European fairy tales, the history of illustration, and the socialisation of children through Bible narratives. She also reviews widely, has contributed numerous encyclopaedia articles, and has translated many scholarly articles into English.
She is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, held a seven-year visiting fellowship at Magdalen College Oxford 1997-2004), and has taught at Princeton University, Hollins University, and the Universities of Innsbruck, Göttingen, Siegen, and Vienna. An active member of professional organisations in the fields of folk narrative and children’s literature, she also serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals in her fields and is continuing research in the history of early British children’s literature and the overall history of fairy tales in Europe and in nineteenth- and twentieth-century overseas colonies.
Ongoing research includes shifting relationships between magic and heroes and heroines in tales of the fantastic from ancient Egypt to the Renaissance, fairy tale authors’ prefaces to and comments on their own works (from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century), and the literary basis of fairy tales that have become so widely known that they are routinely used in film, commerce, and literature, as well as told by ordinary people.