All posts tagged: Most Memorable and/or Fucked-Up Fairy Tales

Most Memorable and/or Fucked Up Fairy Tales: The Twelve Brothers

In the year I’ve been running the Tess Talks Fairy Tales series on this blog, I realize I haven’t really talked about Grimm’s all that much, which is an oversight that must be corrected immediately. Luckily, my Christmas present to myself was Jack Zipes’ new translation of Grimm’s, featuring previously unpublished material. I had inadvertently stumbled upon a cornucopia of WTFery. I am likely to cover a lot of these stories in the months to come, but for now I’m going to tell you the story of The Twelve Brothers…

Most Memorable and/or Fucked-Up Fairy Tales: Great Claus and Little Claus

We all take fairy tales with a pinch of salt — but some just make the mind boggle so hard you just have to blog about ’em. The tale of Great Claus and Little Claus is quite mild, as fucked-up fairy tales go, but still memorable and highly enjoyable. I’m currently reading through the ultimate and phenomenal Hans Christian Anderson collection (note: not actual book title), and it’s definitely my favourite so far. Are you sitting comfortably?

Most Memorable and/or Fucked-Up Fairy Tales: The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple

We all take fairy tales with a pinch of salt — but some just make the mind boggle so hard you just have to blog about ’em. The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple is a Russian tale and was one of my favourite stories growing up. Naturally it was one of the most nonsensical and messed up fairy tales I have ever read. ‘Tis the story of a young merchant’s daughter called Maroosia, but her family called her ‘Little Stupid’ because self-esteem is something that needs to be pummelled out of kids at an early age. One day the merchant goes off to market, but before he leaves he asks his daughters what presents they want him to bring back. The eldest daughter wants a necklace, the second eldest wants a new dress and Little Stupid wants a silver saucer and a transparent apple. The merchant chuckles, probably wondering why he didn’t just put the name ‘Little Stupid’ on her birth certificate so future suitors could be forewarned, and heads off to …

Most Memorable and/or Fucked-Up Fairy Tales: The Reed Girl

We all take fairy tales with a pinch of salt — but some just make the mind boggle so hard you just have to blog about ’em. The Reed Girl is a folk tale from Eastern Europe found in a book called The Kingdom Under The Sea. That is literally all I know about it; it’s so obscure* even Google was like “Do you mean The Nutcracker?“.  In the end Google redeemed itself.  I found a version of The Reed Girl that’s slightly closer to the original folk tale available here.  It’s essentially the same thing but with amusing olde worlde sentences that aren’t as child-friendly.  Oh, and also a million times more WTF than my version. All of the stories in The Kingdom Under The Sea are fabulous (with gorgeous illustrations by the way) and they contain the usual amount of lovely, illogical fantasy.  The old crone Baba Yaga (who flies through the skies in a mortar and pestle) makes an appearance in several of the tales, much like a Grimm tale is never complete without a fucking …