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Showing posts from January, 2016

7 ♦ Hansel and Gretel

I have memories of sitting in a computer science lecture and viewing a graph of what looked to be white noise.  "You may think it looks random, but a truly random pattern wouldn't look so evenly distributed."  This Deal Me In challenge is confirming it in every respect - my thorough shuffling may have been random, but that doesn't necessarily equal balanced!

I'll assume you know the story of "Hansel and Gretel"...there is really not a whole lot I can add to it.  It does bring me to the question - why are the antagonists in fairy tales so very often female?  And not just female, but in a twisted mother-figure role: the stepmother in "Hansel and Gretel," the stepmother in "Cinderella," the Snow Queen, all the witches, etc.  Now I'd be curious to know whether the original storytellers were male or female, and whether any of these stories were based on real life events.  After I finish this challenge, I think I'll be seeking out f…

Q ♦ The Snow Queen

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" His stuff always makes me cry.  :( "  That was my summary note, on finishing "The Snow Queen."  It's true; either his stories have aged well, or I have aged hardly, but Andersen always gets to me.  I shouldn't have put this one off, and I'm glad it came early on in Deal Me In (while it's still winter in the Northwest!).

"The Snow Queen" was the original inspiration for Frozen.  I love the story of Frozen, and I'm not sorry they deviated from the original, but "The Snow Queen" is as good a story as it is a different one.  It starts with a magical mirror that distorts the viewer's sight, so that if they look into it, all they see is bad things.  The mirror breaks into pieces that get scattered over the world and find their way into people's eyes and hearts, making them cold hearted.  At the same time, two neighborhood children, Gerda and Kay, find their friendship split apart when Kay disappears while sledding in the s…

J ♦ The Prince Who Feared Nothing

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The Prince Who Feared Nothing is another strange tale from the Grimm Brothers' collection.  It is about a young prince who, "sick of living in his father's house," goes off into the world to end his boredom by having adventures.  As is usually the case in the world of Grimm, his boredom is soon relieved by the equivalence of an R-rated film, when he falls into the path of an evil giant and vies against demons to save a beautiful princess from her spell.

It is hard to find a rhyme, reason, or moral to this story, since the prince is rather dense, not exactly "fearless" in the best sense of the word.  Some reviewers find the princess's subplot to be a racist statement; it could be, or it could be referring to some kind of disease, I'm not sure.  Either way, the story has a speed of narrative that is typical of Grimm tales.  Maybe after so many generations, the tale lost some of its old morals and meaning, and became simply one child's imperfect me…

Deal Me In 2016

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In 2015, I was on a roll with this challenge, then, eight stories in, failed as gloriously as I had begun.  On the bright side, I still have my list and eight new stories to replace the "read" ones.  I'm going to ace it this time (pun intended)!  :)

Challenge hosted by Jay at Bibliophilica.


A – Snow White - Grimm
2 – The Minotaur - Hawthorne
3 – The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights - Pushkin
4 – The Woman with Two Skins - African folktale
5 – Rumpelstiltskin - Grimm
6 – The Shadow - Andersen
7 – Hansel and Gretel - Grimm
8 – The Girl Without Hands - Grimm
9 – The Fir Tree - Andersen
10 – Puss in Boots - Grimm
J– The Prince Who Feared Nothing - Grimm
Q – The Snow Queen - Andersen
K – King Thrushbeard - Grimm


A – The Argonauts of the Air - Wells
2 – A Country Doctor - Kafka
3 – The Adventure of the German Student - Irving
4 – Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor - Kafka
5 – The Artist of the Beautiful - Hawthorne
6 – The Purloined Letter - Poe
7 – The Country of the Blind - Wells
8 –…