This is very exciting news, to me: Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany. Even just reading the headline, I thought, “Ooooh, like the Grimm brothers!” And then, reading farther along, I discovered that Franz Xaver von Schonwerth had made his collection at around the same time as the Grimms did.
Which means that, whatever that article says about the Grimms’ fairy tales “charming children,” these tales are likely quite dark. Most of the Grimms’ tales were pretty dark too, before they were sanitized and often turned into sentimental pap in more recent generations. (There was not always a happy ending, I can tell you that.)
Here’s one of the early translations of the tales that were found: The Turnip Princess. It’s a bit confusing, but that’s the thing about the real thing: fairy tales, the real original ones, are indeed a little dark and confusing. They’re like dreams, a society working out the great subconscious matters. They are not neat and tidy. But they can be and are very profound, nonetheless.
I hope these are published in English translations at some point! I am also very amused that there’s a version of Cinderella in this collection. What does that make now — 366 separate versions?
[And looking for the image of the Grimms book, I discovered this wonderful site and a discourse on the Grimm brothers’ work: Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Looks like a great read!]