Friday, November 9, 2012

RADIO: NPR's Interview with Maria Tatar on the Origins and Interpretations of Fairy Tales

Hansel and Gretel by Arthur Rackham 1909.

NPR's On Point did a fantastic interview with Maria Tatar recently! It delves into why and how the brothers collected the tales, fairy tales in popular culture, misogyny, Antisemitism and violence in fairy tales, and personal interpretation of fairy tales. While many of you have heard these topics discussed before, this conversation is fresh and interesting.

Maria emphasizes that the Grimm version is not sacred. Our stories that we remix and reinterpret and add meanings based on our own life experiences. I love that! While I do get frustrated when people take the tales and make them something totally other than I myself interpret them to mean or kowtow to the Disney version when there are more interesting versions available, it is important to remember that we all approach fairy tales with our own baggage. There is no right version. One of the best qualities of fairy tales is that they are so malleable. We don't get the internal monologue of the characters, just the actions, so we can infuse their actions with meanings we relate to. The tales belong to all of us. We each have our own Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty, or Little Red Riding Hood.

Go to the original page for supplementary materials. 

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