household children's wonder stories

That seems to be the tentative appellation given by the Grimm brothers to their collection of German folk stories. They were not all "German" - but then, the "folk" belong to a universal category of humanity.
This evening, through happenstance, I continued this morning's conversation by listening to the In Our Time programme on The Brothers Grimm.
The point I found most interesting was the aspect of retelling, wherein the story develops according to the requests or questions of a given audience. One of the Grimms changed the telling, from being violent to being less so, when he learned children were reading the stories. How could a story ever be set in stone? Calvino's collection admits that.
As I had to recover from tooth work done today, I watched the Disney channel's interpretation of the legend of King Arthur. It is the girl who becomes King Arthur: after having almost losing faith in herself, she is challenged to carry her faith despite those odds in order for her to discover her true potential. Until that point, however, the identity of King Arthur keeps changing according to the needs of the plot. King Arthur is both a metaphor and the sign of self-realization. I found it an unexpected retelling - even if like Rodari's Grammar of Fantasy, taking perhaps questionable liberty with Propp's narrative elements.
That the brothers Grimm referred to their stories as household and children's stories is interesting from the take-out style life that so many live today. Also, the tales are at once for adults and for children. While very real and dark aspects of life are addressed, that may be too strong for children, most of the protagonists are children. The stories either lead to a happy ending, or take revenge on the assailant. In their rewriting, it is a safe narrative context, but the bad things that can happen in life are nonetheless examined.
Such stories are as much for children as they are for adults, who often lose their feeling for justice, which is a very important phase for growth. While many agree that justice is not ultimately realised on earth, one cannot just jump to that understanding, intellectually. One must first feel the passion and compassion of justice and learn when to insist on it, for one begins to see that insistence can lead to righteous indignation, which is not helpful. There is no skipping ahead in these lessons.

I love that the adult dimension of the stories is addressed by the word "household". This word seems to have been particularly popular in the early 19th century. But is the household not where all the magic is?
And speaking of wonder and the miraculous, the radio programme also pointed out that when animals would talk to men, and other such "unbelievable" things, these incidents were passed over without comment, as if they were the most natural thing in the world. Wonder as natural: that is a beautiful thought. As is the thought that animals, like good fortune, are the helpers of mankind, and that man is one part of this natural scenery.
Finally, at the end of the radio programme, mention is made of Benjamin's essay, "The Storyteller" (which you can find as PDF online somewhere).
I often forget about that essay. In it, Benjamin says that the dynamic, audience-involved aspect of storytelling has been lost, replaced by the mute novel. But isn't it found in the most unexpected places - like on the Disney channel? It seems that such stories cannot be written by the intellectually jaded - as Bradbury observed, as did the Grimm brothers and other folk enthusiasts of their age. It may be that important aspects of culture survive only among the "common people," not in high culture. But, like von Herder discerned: the folk is not the same thing as the rabble.
Some stories remain, though they are also changed. For example, the Grimm brothers rewrote the story of Snow White in such a way that the evil witch was no longer her mother, but her step-mother. They removed an important ancient inoculation: beware! Even those who are closest to us may wish for our demise.

All elements: Animus.

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