Tag Archives: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Z is for Jack Zipes





Retired professor of German and European Studies at U-Minn Jack Zipes is a translator and mediator of Fairy Tales, a purveyor of wonder and hope. Fairy Tales, he says, offer glimpses of how one may become master of one’s own fate.

When a storyteller does the scholarly detective work to draw parallels between story and social significance and grasps the metaphors, the tales work their magic. They begin “to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition of life and to evoke profound feelings of awe and respect for life as a miraculous process which can be altered or changed….”

Wonder, hope, awe, respect, . . . here we come!

Zipes, Jack, Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion. Routledge Classics, 2011.

Zipes, Jack, The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang. Hackett Publishing Co., 2013.

Zipes Jack, The Irresistable Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre. Princeton University Press, 2013.

G is for Godfather/Godmother Death


Godfather Death, unsigned illustration from the Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales.

How might a tale evolve over time and travels? In Grimm’s 1812 collection, Godfather Death trains his ward to be a healer and gives him an herb that will save lives. But, he warns, the young man must follow Death’s guidance on when not to save a life, namely, when Death himself is standing at the foot of the bed. When those he loves become ill, the healer turns the bed around and saves them–though not without consequences! This tale migrated to America, and by the time Dobie recorded it for a 1935 collection, Death had become “Godmother Death.”

Do you have these collections in your 398.2 section?

Grimm, a complete collection, any edition.

Dobie, J. Frank, Tongues of the Monte. Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1935. (Or the 1980 UT Press reprint. If you have the original, it’s worth a lot!)

Dobie, J. Frank, I’ll Tell You a Tale. UTPress, 1981. (Created from his other collections, this anthology includes “Godfather Death.”)


Look me up at the Texas Library Association Conference this week. I’m in booth 2511.