Lecture 23

Grimms’ Fairy Tales

After the Grimms’ died, writers used fairy tales to critique the society they were in. They weren’t bound to creating a unified German nation, and they weren’t bound by a sense of transmitting cultural heritage.

Post-Grimm Tale Categories

(According to Zipes)

  • Social Satire
  • Utopian
  • Pedagogical
  • Feminist
  • Comic Parody
  • Spiritual


“3 Wishes” (Schwitters)

  • Moral: be happy from within
  • Good dude, not Nazi
  • Avant-Garde artist

“The Seventh Dwarf” (Hessel)

  • Fled the Nazis, caught, died in internment camp
  • Being tossed aside - allegory for being Jew in Germany

“Fairy Tale about Technology” (Döblin)

  • Tale is true?

“Sleeping Beauty” (Künert)

  • Couldn’t go to school because of his Jewish mother
  • “Evil hedge” === Berlin wall

“Rumpelstiltskin” (Künzler)

  • Wrote a ton of books
  • Refuse the system that oppresses you

“Hans my Hedgehog” (Janosch)

  • Retells the story of Hans the hedgehog, but now he’s not a silly hedgehog