Some time ago I received this book as a gift. As with so many of the books in my To Be Read heap, it has taken a while to get to it. I am finding it to be an intriguing read. Many of the tales are familiar, but some have a bit of a twist and some I’ve not read before.
I am also finding it fairly frustrating. This is a collection of fairy tales collected in the 1850s by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth in northern Bavaria. As with the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, they were spoken tales, recorded verbatim. Unlike Grimm and Perrault, they have been left unvarnished and unpolished and this is the root of my frustration. I want to know more!
I don’t know if it is the reader or the writer in me that is making me shout at the book. Things like, “What was he called?”, “Why didn’t she…?” and “Why tell me all about the knife in the tree that will let the sister know if he is well or ill and then never mention it again?”
Sometimes the lack of logic or any source of motivation irritates me as reader. Quite often I want to know more detail about the who, what, why, where, when and how of things. I know that traditionally fairy tales are very bare-boned, but some of these tales are only a page and a half long and have plenty of room for more information.
On the other hand, I’m finding them quite inspirational. All the questions I’m asking myself led onto more questions and, sometimes, answers. And one or two of those answers may be the beginning of a new story or two. I had already started working on a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin before I picked up The Turnip Princess. Maybe there will be more fairy tale inspired stories in my writing future. Watch this space?