Archive for fairy tales

an unexpected (ok, not entirely) anniversary

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2017 by phanteana

long before i became a librarian, i visited plenty of libraries. i borrowed tons of books, even if i never finished all of them. but one which i took out frequently and always completed is one that has withstood the test of time. it has been translated into countless languages, beloved by literary critics, librarians and voracious readers everywhere, has has been beautifully displayed in art and film countless times, and today turns 80 years old…and to think, all this from a book whose central character was created while grading exams. happy anniversary, Bilbo Baggins!




Send(ak) in the clowns

Posted in Art & Photography, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by phanteana

there are plenty of authors, actors, musicians, etc. who have passed on yet they still manage to crank out bodies of work long after they’ve physically departed this world. JRRT released a best-selling book this year, despite the fact that he set sail for the Grey Havens in 1973. the more recently-deceased Maurice Sendak will also be publishing a new illustrated book set for next year…although, it’s not entirely new. it was actually conceived in 1990, but the manuscript was set aside and discovered when the author’s former assistant was sorting through Sendak’s papers following his death in 2012.

throughout his career, Maurice Sendak was no stranger to the infamous Banned Books List. several of his stories were deemed too disturbing for his target audience, but that didn’t seem to put a dent in his reputation. only time will tell if the new one, titled Presto & Zesto In Limboland, will be among those controversial classics.

everyone’s a critic

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by phanteana

it’s common knowledge that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a unique friendship. since social media and the Internet weren’t around during their time, we don’t actually know what a typical conversation was like between the two authors, and can only assume it usually involved meeting at the local pub to discuss what they were working on. despite the lack of technology that was readily available during the early half of the 20th Century, movies were common forms of entertainment both in the U.S. and in England. among those churning out motion pictures was Walt Disney, whose brand of animation seemed to draw the ire of both Tolkien and Lewis. while they may have phrased their opinions more eloquently, their general consensus after attending a screening of Snow White was that “it sucked.” Lewis claimed the dwarves had “bloated, drunken, low comedy faces.” JRRT, on the other hand, described “feelings of nausea” upon seeing the film. early 20th century fantasy authors: they’re just like us (except without social media)!



Image result for Tolkien and Lewis Friendship

Aslan, those aren’t dwarves! i should know, i’ve spent waaaay too much time with them. 


old habits (hobbits) die hard

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by phanteana

15 years ago today, The Fellowship Of The Ring graced moviegoers with its presence, setting the stage for what would become one of the highest-grossing film series of all time…and yet, it still feels like yesterday. in fact, here’s the very first trailerah, memories

Image result for fellowship of the ring meme

…and who knew it would have led to a thousand Sean Bean memes!

a happy ending for the Grimms

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , on November 15, 2014 by phanteana

after years of severely watered-down modifications and PC adaptations, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are finally living up to their last name thanks to a newly published English language version of their first edition stories that originally appeared over 200 years ago. as featured in The Guardian, the new publication will contain all the gore of the days of yore and a whole lot more. the author and translator, Jack Zipes, is a professor at the University of Minnesota who feels strongly about the ceasing of “dumbing down the Grimms’ work.” he’s right. too often, fairy tales morph from gruesome to gorgeous simply to placate audiences and to alleviate concerns over appropriateness for younger crowds.

on the subject of appropriate nature for children, Maurice Sendak comes to mind right up there with the Grimms (ahem, Banned Books Week). in fact, one of Sendak’s most memorable works was Dear Mili, based on a letter written by Wilhelm Grimm to a young girl in 1816. while not overtly graphic or violent like the Grimms’ more well-known works, Mili evokes a wave of emotion from adults and children alike in part to its themes of separation and loss. when i was in Library School, i took a course of Children’s Literature and one of the assignments was an Illustrator Study. Sendak had passed away a few months prior, and it seemed fitting to choose him as my subject matter. i did not own Dear Mili at the time (i later found a used copy for $2 on Amazon), so i borrowed it from the library. strangely enough, the librarians seemed nervous when i asked for it along with Outside Over There. they revealed they were so disturbed by the themes, that they couldn’t bear to read it to their own kids and grand kids. if a book causes that much discomfort, it’s evident that the Grimms were a major influence on Sendak…and that influence is certainly held by countless other writers as well. readers are able to decide which version they prefer, but if they really want the full experience they should opt for the elements that truly make the Grimm brothers…well, grim.

(this is not the real Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, obviously. but a fine representation, nonetheless)

stories of old, of princes bold and riches untold

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , on August 8, 2013 by phanteana

King Golden Hair

last year, 500 fairy tales were discovered in a German archive after being locked away for 150 years. many of these stories do not appear throughout the standard European collections. they were gathered by a German historian named Franz von Schonwerth, who died in 1886…around the same time the Brothers Grimm were making a household name for themselves with their often-gruesome bedtime stories. although the article was initially printed in The Guardian last year, it has gained a fair amount of attention as of recently.