Thumbs up for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm with Illustrations by David Hockney by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by David Hockney. Fantasy.
A lovely gift from my fella, who rightly guessed that I would like David Hockney’s illustrations. The stories themselves are authentic Grimm, full of horrible murder, beatings, hatred, imprisonment, and lacking any moral point whatsoever. It’s fascinating how, well, random they are when compared to either classic Campbellian hero-myths or moralistic fables à la Aesop. One wonders what sort of psychadelic the brothers were smoking.
When it was dark the boy went up to the castle and built a huge fire in one of the rooms. He sat down on the lathe and put the carpenter’s bench by the fire. ‘If only I could learn to shudder,’ he thought, ‘but surely I’m wasting my time here.’ At around midnight he stirred up the fire, and while he was blowing on the coals a wild cry came up from the corner of the room. ‘Aaowmeeow! We’re freezing!’ ‘You fools, what are you complaining about? If you’re cold, come and sit by me.’ Two great black cats leaped out of the darkness, and sitting down on each side of the lathe glowered at him savagely with their fiery eyes. When they had warmed themselves they sneered: ‘Now friend, how about a game of cards?’ ‘Why not!’ he murmured, ‘but let me see your paws first.’ They stretched out their legs and he saw their long sharp claws. Then he caught them by the throat, lifted them on to the carpenter’s bench and clamped their paws in the vice. ‘I know your game,’ he laughed, ‘it’s no fun playing cards with you!’ So he beat them to dead and threw them out into the moat.
–from “The Boy Who Left Home to Learn Fear”
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