UA joins in 'fever for fairy tales' with Grimm brother readings

2013-02-28T00:00:00Z UA joins in 'fever for fairy tales' with Grimm brother readingsHannah Gaber Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

There's been a lot of Grimm news in entertainment lately, and the University of Arizona College of Humanities is contributing a chapter of its own tonight.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of "Children's and Household Tales" - the brothers' first collection, which was published in 1812 - Kate Bernheimer, a UA English professor who specializes in fairy tales, has organized faculty and graduate students to read adaptations of "Red Riding Hood" and other tales in German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and French, among other languages.

Adaptation is a signature of the fairy-tale genre, says Bernheimer, noting that there is "a fever for fairy tales right now."

Recent versions include Amanda Seyfried as a sultry "Red Riding Hood" in 2011, and Kristen Stewart's vengeful heroine in the epic action-adventure "Snow White and the Huntsman" in 2012.

You can catch a monster-hunting descendant of the brothers in NBC's "Grimm," and if you haven't had your fix yet, 2013 brought us "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," which topped the box office when it opened last month.

All these revivals seem to share, in addition to the Grimm name, the grim aspects. Originally, Bernheimer says, the brothers never intended the tales to be read by children. Their stories included graphic sexual and violent scenes.

"They painstakingly revised the stories," she explains, "as they realized people were reading them to their children."

The sweeter versions most of us came to know were drawn from the seventh version of the brothers' collected tales, she explains.

But the darkness returns in nine languages Thursday, only to be outdone by the German chocolate cake at the dessert reception following.

If you go

• What: Readings of adaptations of "Red Riding Hood" from all over the world. Visuals celebrating the fable include a Disney short from the 1920s and Betty Boop in her little red cape. Dessert reception after.

• When: 6-8 p.m. tonight. Reservations required at 621-0210.

• Where: UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., at the corner of Vine Avenue.

• Admission: Free. These tales are in their first-edition graphic form - mature audiences, young adults or older, recommended.

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