Most of us grew up reading fairy tales — stories that had been collected and retold by the Brothers Grimm, perhaps, or by Andrew Lang. But fairy tale expert Jack Zipes — professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota — goes to the original source. In book after book, he analyzes obscure fairy stories and legends, does his own translations and brings new meaning and perspective to the tales. A year ago, he retranslated "Bambi" — which is quite a different story from the one that Walt Disney produced. "Bambi," he noted, is not a children's story at all, but an allegory for how badly humans can treat fellow humans.
This year, Zipes has a new book out with Princeton University Press on the power of political fairy tales. "Buried Treasures" is a collection of essays analyzing the subversive meanings of a dozen tales from around the world. Also new this year: a three-volume set of the world's best fairy tales, selected by Romer Wilson back in the 1920s and newly edited by Zipes.
All four of these books are beautifully illustrated, and Zipes will discuss them and the place that legend, myth and fairy tales hold for us, at Magers & Quinn later this month.
Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune.
Buried Treasures: The Power of Political Fairy Tales
By: Jack Zipes.
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 249 pages, $35.
Event: 7 p.m. April 25, Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.