A darker, grimmer Snow White

Used to be, all “fairy tales” were dark and ugly. Their point was to remind people that they lived in a dangerous world filled with cruel people and unguessable traps. It wasn’t until the Victorian era that people started Bowdlerizing them because they thought they had to make childhood a magic time when nothing bad could happen to the poor little tykes - who were exploited for labor in factories and used to carry gunpowder on Royal Navy ships at ages as young as 9.


I wasn’t aware of that part of the original story. My favourite in that regard was one of the stepsisters trying to fit into the slipper that will make her a princess by cutting her own toes off.


Sleeping Beauty wasn’t so nice before, either. In the oldest version I’ve seen, the prince doesn’t kiss her awake, he has sex with her while she’s unconscious, and she wakes up when one of her newborn twins, trying to nurse, sucks the poison splinter from her finger.

I notice Disney has never tried to do a “nice” version of Bluebeard. Hard to make a story about a serial wife-murderer who keeps their bodies in a room for his latest bride to find into something sweet.


Jane Yolen does an absolutely awesome version in Sister Emily’s Lightship.

Mostly because this Snow White is a kick ass woman who recognizes the evil step mom and strikes first with a cast iron pan upside the head killing her


Love it. Oglaf is one of the very few web comics I bother reading.


Although best known as a folktale, the character of Bluebeard appears to derive from legends related to historical individuals in Brittany. One source is believed to have been the 15th-century Breton and convicted serial killer Gilles de Rais, a nobleman who fought alongside Joan of Arc and became both Marshal of France and her official protector, then, was burned as a murderous witch.[7] However, Gilles de Rais did not kill his wife, nor were any bodies found on his property, and the crimes for which he was convicted involved the sexually-driven, brutal murder of children rather than women.


Cocteau Twins chaser


Saying Oglaf is often NSFW is like describing Jaws as a movie about summertime fishing off the coast of New England.


Kinda, I can’t tell you the disappointment I feel when it appears in my RSS feed with the “(safe)” qualifier.

Oglaf: safe!


My childhood “favorites”. My grandma had the book with this exact same illustrations:

Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann a contemporary of the Grimm Brothers.


Well, yes, the same brothers who collected the stories were also historical linguists, but I don’t think it is really true to say that they discovered the eponymous linguistic law as part of their collection. While they probably got stories in lots of different German dialects, Grimm’s law required the brothers to look beyond German.

Ok, wanna dance on the head of a pin? The field of historical linguistics did not exist as such. They were philologists, a field which is related to and prefigures linguistics, which would of course expose them to other languages, which as they were men of letters, would be unremarkable. But really, what difference does any of this make? It’s just a cocktail fact.


I’m actually surprised that the Right hasn’t thrown a mindless shit-fit over the two dwarves in the lower right-hand corner… or have they.

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This, from my copy of “The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm” (Jake Zipes):

[The Grimms] eliminated erotic and sexual elements that might be offensive to middle-class morality, added numerous Christian expressions and references, emphasized specific role models for male and female protagonists according to the dominant patriarchal code of [their] time, and endowed many of the tales with a “homey” or biedermeier flavor by the use of diminutives, quaint expressions, and cute descriptions.

Following the above and further related discourse:

Such changes have annoyed critics of various psychoanalytical orientations, because they believe that the violence and conflict in the tales derive from profound instinctual developments in the human psyche and hence represent symbolical modes by which children and adults deal with sexual problems.


No, they just figure that’s the first instance of dwarf-tossing.

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You can get something closer to the originals with Franz Xaver von Schönwerth.
I recommend the “White as Milk, Red as Blood” collection which is nicely illustrated.


I’m tossing my dwarf right now!

(Channeling @Papasan)


Gotta love that accidental bestseller. Herr Hoffmann wrote when he was looking for a book to give as a Christmas present, but the books of his time were all too sanitised and about good little children, all boring as hell. So he basically though “screw that, I’ll make my own!” Thank goodness his friends were persistent, because at first he didn’t want to publish it.


I remember as a child, on my birthday someone had nicely given me a book of “German Fairy Tales”. I remember reading this part of the story as well, where the evil queen eats the girls organs. Somehow, at that young age it didnt bother me.
Thats what evil people did (including the other ogres & monsters in that book).
I mean, the wolf wanted to eat the Red Riding Hood.
The Giant wanted to eat Jack (&the beanstalk) - “Fee Fie Fo Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead. I will grind his bones and make my bread”

It is as a grown up that I see how awful it all was. Of course, the other thing that really reduced the impact was lack of pictures in the book. A child really doesnt care about the level of violence in a book/ story. Its the visuals that really mess up the imagination. With a Disney version, for e.g., I dont think I would have taken the eating of heart so easily.

Which reminds me - I havent seen the book since then! My mom must have destroyed it after those initial months :wink:


For bonus points of unease, get this with the apple pie.