Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Grim fairy tales

Books. Oh, how I love them so! My experience extended beyond mere reading. Like a greedy child pigging out on candied treats, I devoured my books voraciously, consuming them with eager relish. I immersed myself in the stories' setting—be it a country manor, the dusty outback or a little house on the prairie. I lurked among the shadows, watching the events that unfold in the characters’ lives, like an omnipresent being. Unfortunately, just like a spectator who can only cheer at the sidelines, I was never allowed to partake in the exciting adventures of the protagonists. Ah, but those were memories of my distant childhood.

Storybooks were my beloved companions. I took them wherever I went. To birthday parties, family gatherings, trips to the doctor, on long car rides. In a way, I wanted to occupy myself during those boring waits and events, but I ended up shutting the noisy world out. Far from the maddening crowd, oblivious to the shouts and screams of playing children, there I sat, in my corner, reading away.

I wasn’t an anti-social child, but I lacked the inclination to socialise with my contemporaries. A game of ‘police and thief’ inevitably gets boring after the third round. Most games are repetitive in nature. Predictable things bore me.

So, my growing up years were spent reading fiction. Unfortunately, they too lost their appeal. After all, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot can only solve that many crimes. Things became predictable again. And I was too young to appreciate the literary styles and techniques employed. I moved on to non-fiction and have been there ever since. Call it inertia (I know of so many fictional works that I shouldn’t miss) but I can only muster up enough will power to get a vague idea of their content through reviews and synopses. Why? I am still in the midst of unraveling the secrets of the universe—literally. And those are mostly scientific writings.

Therefore, I am glad to have received a book from dear S.T yesterday. We share many passions and one of which is a love for books. She reads fiction extensively and is a fan of Austen.
This gift comes as a reminder that I should indulge in fiction once again.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Back Cover Synopsis:
Perhaps no other stories possess as much power to enchant, delight, and surprise as those penned by the immortal Brothers Grimm. Now, in the new, expanded third edition, renowned scholar and folklorist Jack Zipes has translated all 250 tales collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, plus twenty-nine rare tales omitted from the original German edition, as well as narratives uncovered in the brothers' letters and papers. Truly the most comprehensive translation to date, this critically acclaimed edition recaptures the fairy tales as the Brothers Grimm intended them to be: rich, stark, spiced with humor and violence, resonant with folklore and song.

Entry Trivia:
By the way, The Brothers Grimm wrote down their collected oral tales mainly for the bourgeois audiences of 19th century Europe so the stories were mainly intended for an adult readership. Don’t expect the sweet and innocent Disney versions. Some stories are rather gruesome and downright unappetizing. Uncensored and not watered down. Ah, I like. =)

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