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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Gruesome, The Horrible, The Fairy Tales

Flash Fiction Online receives retellings of fairy tales regularly in its submissions digital slush pile. The LA Times has an interesting review of The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault. One of the key ideas from the review is that adults often forget how gruesome the stories are and wonder why children love them. The article author, Jamie James, says that children are intrigued by the what-happens-next aspect of the stories, and are looking for reassurance that it will turn out okay. Modern children have a similar experience through cartoons, but in the past, children saw the gruesome stories as a possibility.

With illustrations by Gustave Dore, this edition shows how the gruesome worlds of fairy tales actually give us a glimpse into the harsh realities of another era.

See the review of The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault for more about this edition and a history of fairy tales.

Bruce Holland Rogers wrote an article about fairy tales in his Short-Short Sighted column at Flash Fiction Online, which used this story as an example.

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