CE -- Anthropology and Folklore
Die Märchen der Brüder Grimm: eine Einführung [The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: An Introduction]. Heinz Rölleke. Rev. and corrected new printing of the 3d rev. ed. (Bonn: Bouvier, 1992). Stuttgart: Reclam, 2004. 116 p. 15 cm. (Universal-Bibliothek, 17650). ISBN 3-15-017650-6: EUR 4 [05-1-187]
Heinz Rölleke, professor at the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, has published some 60 books and 300 articles on folk literature and German literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, specializing in Romanticism, fairy tales and sagas, the Brothers Grimm, and Hugo von Hoffmansthal. His books and commentaries on the Brothers Grimm have set the standard and have won him numerous literary prizes. First published in 1985, his Introduction assembles in a readable fashion the scholarly facts and questions about the Grimms’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen (KHM—often translated as The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales).
Rölleke’s work begins with a brief discussion of the manuscripts, editions, and translations pertinent to scholarly research. He places the KHM in their historical and geographical context and discusses fairy tales as a literary genre and as a resource for the study of the Germanic languages. Rölleke’s work cites many related texts from several centuries as well as current and contemporary scholarly works of criticism and interpretation, so that his work provides signi?cant bibliographic utility. In the journal Diskussion Deutsch 91 (October 1986), Rölleke wrote, "The Grimms’ fairy tales do not represent—as other literary works might—the intention of one author, but rather the highly diverging intentions of two compilers and some 40 different contributors, 30 different printed or handwritten sources from six centuries, and almost all German language regions."
Rölleke’s work brings the reader up to date on the status of research, is available at a very favorable price, and combines all the fine qualities of an introductory work that one would expect. [wh/ga]
Grimms Märchen und ihre Quellen: die literarischen Vorlagen der Grimmschen Märchen synoptisch vorgestellt und kommentiert [Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Their Sources: The Literary Models of Grimm’s Fairy Tales Synoptically Presented and Commented]. Heinz Rölleke. 2d, corrected ed. Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2004. 591 p. 21 cm. (Schriftenreihe Literaturwissenschaft, 35). ISBN 3-88476-717-8: EUR 41 [05-1-188]
Heinz Rölleke’s introduction to Grimm’s fairy tales, Die Märchen der Brüder Grimm: eine Einführung, has been reviewed in RREA 11:149. This work, his synoptic presentation of the fairy tales that lead back to literary sources—and the publication of these sources—is now in its second corrected edition. Only about two dozen corrections are listed in nearly 600 pages (though a few new ones have been introduced). The volume fills a gap in the market. Rölleke himself dispelled as myth the belief that the Grimms went out into the countryside to collect these tales: to the extent that their texts lead back to oral stories, the Grimms obtained them from collectors they knew (exceptions were Dorothea Viehmann and Johann Friedrich Krause). However, 63 texts are based wholly or in part on literary sources. Hermann Hamman found and cited them in 1906 in his Die literarischen Vorlagen der Kinder- und Hausmärchen und ihre Bearbeitung durch die Brüder Grimm [The Literary Sources of Children’s Fairy Tales and Their Reworking by the Brothers Grimm]. Rölleke returns to this subject. What the Grimms were seeking when they went through the relevant published literature is important for the concept of their new literary genre. Most important was actual or implied oral transmission as well as mythic references. Including written evidence in the chain of transmission is not generally accepted today, nor was it then. Tradition did not end with publication. The print version leads to further narrative strands. The Grimms’ collection can be classified as a category between folk tales and art tales.
This volume presents 63 tales in the Grimms’ versions displayed parallel to their sources. Rölleke does not cite secondary literature but refers to Hamman’s book, Johannes Bolte and Georg Polívka’s Anmerkungen zu den Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm [Notes on Grimm’s Fairy Tales] (2d ed., 1963), and Walter Scherf’s Das Märchenlexikon [The Fairy-Tale Dictionary] (see <RREA 10:199). Rölleke lists 41 source works dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries. He pinpoints the exact edition used in 33 cases and sometimes gives the texts in a contemporary version. There are some basic points that need improvement. [wh/gh]
Europäische Märchen und Sagen—Europa erzählt: über 70 Märchen und Sagen vom Nordkap bis Sizilien. [European Fairy Tales and Legends—Europe Tells Tales: Over 7,000 Tales and Legends from the North Cape to Sicily]. Ed. Hans-Jörg Uther. Berlin: Directmedia, 2004. 1 CD-ROM. (Digitale Bibliothek, 110). ISBN 3-89853-510-X: EUR 45 [05-1-189]
Uther’s Europäische Märchen und Sagen is the parallel volume to Deutsche Märchen und Sagen [German Fairy Tales and Legends] (see RREA 10:200). The packaging now resembles a book more, but the old format was more stable. The software, now Version 4, has been revised and is now closer to Windows programs. However, some of the tools have been lost; for example, Search Assistant, which made it easier to enter complex combinations of words, has been replaced by Boolean operators that now have to be entered by hand. Users should read the new introduction to the software. The content is divided into two independent groups: first, 7,068 texts of fairy tales and legends from 53 countries, language groups, or cultures on approximately 30,300 screens, compiled from 77 collections; and second, a bibliography of approximately 23,000 titles (according to the publisher) on 2,646 screens. An appendix contains Otto Ubbelohde’s famous illustrations of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Ubbelohde’s is the only German book included and rightly so, because the parallel CD, Deutsche Märchen und Sagen, documents the variety of German-language narratives. The editor has classified all the texts in an appendix according to The Types of International Fairy Tales (2004), his own revision of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson’s classification system (a review in IFB is planned). There are links from the titles in the index to the texts, so that the most important variants can be called up in order to compare them. Another advantage is that the texts have been classified according to a unified standard. In the geographic section, the incongruence of language areas and national states causes difficulties. The alphabetical table of contents lists 35 countries, six regions (within the countries but listed separately), six ethnic terms, and six language groups. Included under the heading Switzerland are only tales from the German-speaking cantons, predominantly Uri. Rhaeto-Romance texts are listed separately under that language. Luxemburg is treated similarly. The texts are given under the titles of the collections included, so that complete geographic consistency cannot be expected. The territory included extends from Lappland to Malta and from Ireland to the Ural Mountains.
A compilation like this depends on the quality of its source collections. Texts in Germanic languages predominate (the largest number from German-speaking countries), with the Romance languages in second place. There is only one tale from Lithuania, even though it is one of the best researched areas. Two fifths of the collections are not included in the biographical section, so there is little information on their collectors or editors; this may have been due to lack of time. Some of these collectors and editors can be found in the Enzyklopädie des Märchens [Encyclopedia of the Fairy Tale] (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977-). Serious objections can be made to the bibliography in the appendix, both because newer titles are missing and because forms of names and completeness of entries are inconsistent. Annotations or a detailed subject index are badly needed.
Such details do not diminish the usefulness of this work, which makes large parts of the European corpus of fairy tales available to students and those interested in fairy tales, and they also provide experts with many variants for side-by-side comparisons. Both the German and the European CD-ROM are ideal for stirring interest in folk narrative and for making these tales available to researchers in a systematic form. [wh/gh]
Das grosse Lexikon traditioneller Symbole. [Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols]. J.C. Cooper. Trans. Gudrun and Matthias Middell. München: Goldmann, 2004. 351 p. ill. 21cm. (Goldmann, 21667. Arkana). ISBN 3-442-21667-2 (pbk.): EUR 14 [05-1-191]
Das grosse Lexikon der Symbole: Zeichen, Schriften, Marken, Signale [Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Symbols: Signs, Scripts, Marks, and Signals]. Marion Zerbst and Werner Kafka. Ed. Rainer Dierkesmann. Leipzig: Seemann, 2003. 464 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-86502-075-5: EUR 29.90 [05-1-192]
Das Buch der Zeichen und Symbole[The Book of Signs and Symbols]. Inge Schwarz-Winklhofer and Hans Biedermann. Special ed. Graz: V.F. Sammler, 2004. 400 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 3-85365-203-4: EUR 9.95 [05-1-193]
Lexikon der Symbole [Dictionary of Symbols]. Wolfgang Bauer, Irmtraud Dümotz, and Sergius Golowin. 20th rev. ed. Wiesbaden: Marix-Verlag, 2004. 580 p. ill. 22 cm. Licensed: Kometverlagsgesellschaft. ISBN 3-937715-60-6: EUR 14.95 [05-1-194]
First published by Thames & Hudson in London in 1978 and released in German under the title Lexikon alter Symbole [Lexicon of Old Symbols] in 1986, Jean Campbell Cooper’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004, c1978. ISBN 0-50027-125-9) was published by Goldmann as a paperback in 2004. Except for decreased quality in many illustrations due to the type of paper used, no other differences are noted from the 1986 edition. This volume contains roughly 950 articles varying in length from two lines to multiples pages, with the average being half a column. Terms are completely cross-referenced throughout. Within some of the larger articles (e.g., Farben [colors], Planeten [planets], Zahlen [numbers]) information about symbols is summarized. Foreign- language terms, including many Latin ones, are translated in the glossary. The bibliography, which was simply taken from the English edition, has not been updated and does not include relevant German titles. Some of the entries have not been updated or revised from the first edition. For example, "Ostern" is supposedly derived from a northern goddess of spring, and this etymology can no longer be substantiated. When one compares key words and entries in six other important dictionaries of symbols, one notes that a fifth of the headings can be found in three to six of the dictionaries and one third in two. On this basis, one can say that a canon of symbols exists; authors of reference works can deviate only slightly from this core set of terms.
Many of the entries in Zerbst and Kafka’s 2003 dictionary are updated or expanded versions of entries in Cooper’s dictionary of symbols. However, 200 of Cooper’s entries were omitted or combined with others, which allowed 150 new entries to be added. A number of new symbol categories were added, along with symbols from contemporary politics (e.g., "UNO" [UN], "Atomtod-Zeichen" [radiological hazard]. The bibliography has been revised and consists almost entirely of German sources published after 1970. However, only short titles are provided, some of which are without publication years. One notable difference with Cooper’s work is the inclusion of 38 longer supplementary articles of introductory texts and black-and-white illustrations of various symbol categories (e.g., astrological signs, railroad signals, or coats-of-arms). Whereas Cooper’s dictionary contains "traditional" in its title and includes only conventional symbols, Zerbst and Kafka’s offers a broader range of symbols and signs.
First published in 1972 and subsequently revised and updated, the 5th edition of Schwarz-Winklhofer and Biedermann’s Das Buch der Zeichen und Symbole was released in 2004. In its 14 thematic chapters, this work provides information on all conceivable signs: from the Paleolithic Age to early writing systems, religious symbols, magic and paleographic signs, and secret codes to musical notations. The last chapter concludes with secrets signs of the Free Masons, Rosicrucians, Romany, and hobos. In total, about 1,300 signs are discussed in the volume, each entry including black-and-white drawings and a short commentary about meaning and use. Commentaries are generally reliable and comprehensible to the average reader. Each of the chapters includes a short introduction along with a separate bibliography. Over 270 bibliographical entries listing publications from 1772 to 2003 are included in this volume.
Also published in 2004, Lexikon der Symbole has been successful enough to be in its 20th edition and was also translated into Russian in 1995. Revisions are limited to the preface and replacements for some photos. The text has not been updated and is now a quarter of a century old. One change has been the deletion of one of the authors: Herbert Röttgen; this, despite the fact Röttgen’s contributions from the first edition are still included in the 20th and have been attributed to one of the new editors. The dictionary consists of 12 chapters written by different authors, as well as an introduction and a subject and person index. The last chapter covers symbolic figures in history, such as Zoroaster, Aleister Crowley, and Timothy Leary. Each chapter is divided into subsections. For example, the chapter on fairy tale symbols has 13 subsections, such as "Fairy Tale Heroes," "Magic Things," and "Princess." Some readers may find the tone of some of the chapters brash and witty, which may not appeal to all. The index has 1,700 entries, but its organization is not ideal, and accuracy is questionable. Persons are often alphabetized under their first name instead of their last. Some entries are listed more than once or in some cases refer to the wrong pages. Although extensive, the illustrations are often baffling because of their obscure sources. The commercial success of this work is most likely due to the rise in interest in the occult and fringe sciences. [wh/bwv]
Das Buch der Elfen und Feen [The Book of Elves and Fairies]. Ditte and Giovanni Bandini. Orig. ed. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2003. 278 p. ill. 21 cm. (dtv, 24385: Premium). ISBN 3-423-24385-6: EUR 15 [05-2-392]
Das Buch der Elfen und Feen [The Book of Elves and Fairies]. Ditte and Giovanni Bandini. Wiesbaden: Marix-Verlag, 2006. 278 p. ill. 22 cm. DTV licensed ed. ISBN 978-3-86539-064-6, ISBN 3-86539-064-1 (hardcover): EUR 9.95 [05-2-393
The Book of Elves and Fairies is an encyclopedia of mythological and folk tale creatures. The descriptions are illustrated with excerpts from sagas and with quotations from secondary literature, some of which are taken from unreliable Internet sources. The encyclopedia includes a glossary and an index, a rich bibliography covering secondary literature from the 18th century to the present, and a list of primary sources. The bibliography reflects the focus on German and English mythology and folklore, but includes some French and Italian sources as well. [wh/ao]
Dictionnaire des fées et du peuple invisible dans l’occident païen [Dictionary of Fairies and Invisible People in the Pagan West]. Catherine Rager. Turnhout: Brepols, 2003. xi, 1,041 p. 19 cm. (Petits dictionnaires bleus). ISBN 2-503-51105-8: EUR 50 [05-2-394]
This dictionary contains 1,800 articles, some of them several pages long, on 2,600 mythological characters from Western Europe. This is supplemented by a subject index that lists the French and English terms for these characters. The secondary literature and the primary sources are mostly French and English. German and Scandinavian literature are seldom used, and citations and spellings are faulty. The dictionary makes no distinction between folklore figures and characters from modern fiction. Readability of the articles makes up for the occasional editorial and orthographical mistakes. [wh/ao]
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Last update: March 2009 [BG]
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