90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Grimms' Fairy Tales

Rebroadcast: originally broadcast on October 17, 2012.

From Cinderella to Rapunzel to the really gruesome tales you might not know – the myth and magic of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales.

Hansel and Gretel by Arthur Rackham 1909.

Hansel and Gretel by Arthur Rackham 1909.

Once upon a time – 200 years ago, to be exact – across a great sea, near a deep woods, there were two brothers named Grimm who collected stories.  They were hearth and fireplace tales, kitchen and lamplight tales, of swans and wolves, of magic spells and little men in the woods, of a frog prince, a sleeping beauty, a brave little tailor.

And lots and lots of chopping and killing and ravaging and rebirth.  Gripping, gruesome, deep-rooted folk stories called fairy tales.  With very few fairies.

This hour, On Point:  looking again at the Brothers Grimm and the tales they shared.  Fairy tales.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Maria Tatar, professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures.  She chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, where she teaches courses in German Studies, Folklore, and Children’s Literature. She’s the author of the new book, The Annotated Brothers Grimm (The Bicentennial Edition).

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “Mother and Daddy dear — not an evil stepmom — take Hansel and Gretel out in the woods and leave them to starve. Little Red Riding Hood does a striptease for the Big Bad Wolf. Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to force the mangled stumps into the glass slipper.”

BBC “Ms Robinson’s daughter, artist Chloe Cheese, who had donated her mother’s work to the Essex museum, said: “The beautiful pen and ink drawings and delicate text of this book fascinated me when I was a child and drew me into the enchanted world of the fairy tale.”

Excerpt: The Annotated Brothers Grimm

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Playlist

“The Sleeping Beauty” — Tchaikovsky

“Hello, Little Girl,” from “Into the Woods” — Stephen Sondheim

Overture from “Hansel and Gretel” — Engelbert Humperdinck

Soundtrack to “The Brothers Grimm” — by Dario Marianelli

“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” — Cinderella (Disney)

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • geraldfnord

    I’m in late—has anyone mentioned…
    0.) The comic-book series “Fables”?, which is good when Bill Willingham keeps his politics out of it.
    1.) Cinderella’s sisters’ mutilating their feet to try to fit into the fur (not glass) slippers, becoming beggars, and arriving at her castle only to have their eyes pecked-out by doves?
    2.) The claim I’ve seen that in late-mediæval Western Europe the set-ups for many of the stories—children’s abandonment in the forest for lack of food, stepmothers’ replacing the mother dead in child-birth and not being that great at sharing scarce food and clothes, people going out to ‘seek their fortune’—that is, at least try to find somewhere else where they wouldn’t starve?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

Sep 2, 2014
Confederate spymaster Rose O'Neal Greenhow, pictured with her daughter "Little" Rose in Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison in 1862. (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

True stories of daring women during the Civil War. Best-selling author Karen Abbott shares their exploits in a new book: “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

 
Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Comment
 
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Comment
 
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment