The Violet Fairy Book
Lang's commodification of folk culture for children was following no less than the lead of the Grimm's, who started out with scholarly ambition before realizing the greater commercial and cultural possibilities of creating volumes for children. Which is its own form of brilliance: The indoctrination must begin early and often.
And all the more easy to deliver under the appearance of authorless, unsophisticated, "naked", innocuous entertainments. Nah, us "civilised" people would never fall for those kind of "savage" methods, would we? Naturally, the majority of his folkloric work was banned under the rule of Prince Milos of Serbia which at the time was a principality of the Ottoman Empire , who felt "the content of some of the works, although purely poetic in nature, was capable of creating a certain sense of patriotism and a desire for freedom and independence, which very likely might have driven the populace to take up arms against the Turks.
Considered the author of the first original Estonian book, he also composed the national epic Kalevipoeg based on old Estonian legends of a giant who battled other giants and enemies of the land. Kremnitz's husband became a doctor of the royal Romanian family during the Russo-Turkish War , the very war that precipitated independence from the Ottoman Empire in and the declaration of Carol I as the first king of independent Romania in Mite Kremmnitz's Romanian Tales was published in Kremnitz also wrote biographies of both monarchs. If there are only a handful of truly memorable tales, there are plenty of interesting ones.
And as I read more of these Fairy Books , certain repeated motifs do seem to stand out to me all the more. Rating: 3 stars - On quests: No less than three stories in the Violet are centered around the youngest son accomplishing the father-king's quest after his elder brothers have failed. In particular, the Serbian The Nine Peahens and the Golden Apples Vuk Karadzic and the Swahili The Nunda Steere begin with the same episode of the king asking the sons to discover what bird is eating the fruit of his tree.
The Fairy of the Dawn Romanian - Mite Kremnitz is the third story of this triumvirate, with the son seeking the water from the spring of the fairy of the dawn to heal his father, who cries out of one eye and laughs out of the other. This turns out to be the longest story in the collection, spanning an epic quest that has elements of both the aforementioned "Firebird" [AT] and "Water of Life" [AT ] quests, but takes on its own distinctly pagan images. A goblin of wind and air who is first described as having "not exactly a head" with the mane of a horse, horns of a deer, face of a bear, eyes of a polecat, and the body of "something of each" -- and then Perhaps, in his dreams, a man may see a creature which has what it has not got, and has not got what it has.
At least, that was what the Welwa seemed like to Petru. She flew with her feet, and walked with her wings; her head was in her back, and her tail was on top of her body; her eyes were in her neck, and her neck in her forehead, and how to describe her further I do not know. Two filial versions appear here. In The Boy With the Golden Stars Romanian, Kremnitz , the king's sons become trees, beds, and fishes before they can return to reclaim their mother's rightful place. The king is sort of a douche though, burying his wife alive or whatever. It's more touchingly applied in "The Envious Neighbor" Japanese, Karl Alberti , better known as Hanasaka Jiisan , in which a dog returns as a tree, a mortar, and cherry blossoms in order to bless the old couple who took in the dog in.
Surprisingly, the dog does not return itself. The ending is not a restoration, only a reminder. The beauty of the cherry blossom is in the ephemerality of the thing; so too, the impermanence of filial duty that touches the sentimental nerve The Prince Who Wanted to See the World Portuguese and The Grateful Prince Estonian, Kreutzwald features the more tradition style of transformation chase.
Specifically both are tales of Aarne-Thomspson type , in which the heroine helps the hero's escape, first to perform the three tasks before they flee together by means of a magic flight. For once, the hero is good-humored enough that we actually buy that the heroine would want to help him at all. Unlike their progenitors, the hero and heroine actually seem well-matched, and Kreutzwald provides an interesting twist by foregrounding the psycho-social subtext.
The farm under the ground is essentially an uncanny reflection of the upper world, and so the impossible tasks set before the hero are only harder versions of normal farm chores feeding a horse, milking a cow, stacking the hay. Make music not war. Naturally, the king does not appreciate her for it. I would have stuck with the heathen prince. It's a story of guises and appearances. The father guised as wolf permissive enough to let his daughters try, but protective enough to test them first , the daughter guised as son. The deceptiveness of beauty and the usefulness of old things.
And of course, the mutability of gender. Note that Fet-Fruners is equally skilled at sword rights and cooking, is fond of both flowers and practical weapons -- and only plays upon a fake hyper-masculinity in order to take advantage of other's rigid gender expectations. Golden-haired Iliana does the same with a pretended hyper-femininity, playing the part of the fickle and empty-headed damsel, and effectively saving her own damned self from two unwanted marriages.
Some were enjoyable most were repetitive. Aug 02, Alun Williams rated it it was amazing. This is possibly my favourite from the Andrew Lang Fairy Books. It is very surprising that the first of these should have made it into a book for children at all back in or so, but you'll have to read the story to find out why. Many of the stories feature female heroines who are as capable of battling dragons and other monsters as any handsome prince.
Many of the stories are Rumanian, but there are also stories from other parts of Eastern Europe, and Africa and Japan amongst many other places. Few of the stories are likely to be familiar to you, though of course many of the incidents in the stories will be. This book shows that "multiculturalism" is not really such a recent invention - and it is great fun to have stories from very different parts of the world adjacent to one another. The Amazon "Look Inside" feature is showing another edition of the book, not the Dover edition, which is much better than the one shown, since it contains all the original illustrations, which are a very important part of all the books.
All the Fairy books are long out of copyright, and versions of them can be found on the web. But it is well worth buying the Dover Edition, so that you can linger over the illustrations as you read the tales. There are twelve books in the series, and once you have one you will want to collect them all.
Amazon is showing "reading ages" for these books, but you should take them with a pinch of salt. None of the books, at least as printed by Dover, are suitable for many readers under about 9 or View 1 comment. Feb 19, Jannah Cloud Child rated it liked it Shelves: short-stories-novellas , own-the-book , fantasy-magic. I still stand by my opinions of the book overall] There was a few stories of the bunch that did hold my interest a [2. It was too simply written, yet tried to over complicate with nonsensical logic.
Like no personality. Just labeled puppeteering. Oh and also not actual recognisable difference to the "different" settings of stories, except for the slapped on name tags given. Possibly because the surroundings weren't properly described in some stories. Fine be misogynistic to fit into the time these stories were the norm etc..
Follow the tropes. Give some credit to the puppets. We're nae that stupid ye ken. I don't care what time period it was set it. I think my outrage is probably a bit over the top. I just really was looking forward to some consistency and good weird. This was bang you head on the wall weird slash boring. So I went back and added an edit at the beginning bc I finally read the foreword n preface n I can see that these are old fashioned stories which have some sort of history of passing down.
But I feel that though they revised the story to appeal to a more current well if you can call current audience it just still was stale and old. The thing is..
I am gonna keep this book. Because some of the shit is entertainingly bad. Would I recommend it? Yes for a pretty shelf bookend. Otherwise do whatever the hell you like with it. Dec 13, Nieva21 rated it it was amazing. This was the first anthology by Andrew Lang I read, and after doing so I was hooked. I marvelled at how uniquely told all of the tales within this collection are, some are known and others much more obscure.
I find this more of an adult fascination that arose in me for the need that was hardly taken care of in children's fantasy literature, which Lang takes care of. I realize that some of the stories are much more gruesomely told even more so, than Grimm's depiction of other similar tales.
I loved the artwork and I now wish to read through all of the collection of his anthology I now own, hunting for my favorite illustration and blow it up, and put it in my room. Somehow, I noticed it was quite easier for me to get drawn in and read the Violet Fairy Book without having to work at it, than it was for me to really get into the Red and I wonder if that had anything to do with when the works were written? Because I know Lang compiled the Red as his second collection, which came following the Blue, and within a span of time later on, did the Violet.
Jun 20, Mary Catelli rated it liked it Shelves: fairy-tale-collection , old-books. This one, I think, has more weak tales than the earlier ones, especially since many of them are other kinds of folk tales. A yet another collection of fairy tales collected by Andrew Lang. My copy is quite old, and has the occasional full colour, full page illustration which I especially enjoy. Dec 30, Aaron Guilmette rated it it was amazing.
The Violet Fairy Book: Original and Unabridged
This is definitely my favorite of all of Lang's Fairy Books. Out of it, my favorite story is of Stan Bolovan, who outsmarted a dragon in a series of most ingenious tasks. I enjoyed them because they were so different from the sanitized, prissy princess, modern versions, and I'm happy to see them now available for very cheap in Kindle format. We forget that fairy tales were not originally for children and were not created as vehicles for which to market toys and Happy Meals to toddlers.
They were oral entertainment, grisly and cutting social or political commentary more often than not. Like any old literature, it's best to read Lang's collections in the context of their times and understand that our 21st century professed sensibilities might get a little tweaked from some of the language and prejudices in older literature. Anyone looking for the sweet, slick, happily-ever-after versions where nothing violent or rude ever happens will likely not like this or any of the older collections.
I had the pleasure of reading this for my History of the English Language Linguistics class. There are some good stories here but some--as you might expect--are representative of repressive historical cultures where women are prizes to be won and whose nature, whenever they have self-determination, are burdens to be borne. In any case, I did enjoy more than half despite the flaws. They are, after all, stories from the past, so what more can we glean than the way of that world.
Didn't recognize any of these. I especially liked the narrator doing the voices for 'The Grateful Prince'. Jul 27, Angela rated it liked it. For quick reads, there's nothing which satisfies more than Andrew Lang's fairy-folk tale collections. Sep 21, Flower Ali rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books.
Mar 06, Tessa rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , read-in , classics. The illustrations give me heart-eyes. Mar 22, Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara rated it liked it Shelves: ebook , short-stories , classics-series , fairy-tales-folk-tales-n-mythology. Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived together in a little village. They might have been happy if only the old woman had had the sense to hold her tongue at proper times.
But anything which might happen indoors, or any bit of news which her husband might bring in when he had been anywhere, had to be told at once to the whole village, and these tales were repeated and altered till it often happened that much mischief was made, and the old man's back paid for it. Do tell me all about it at once. How can you think such things! For shame! If you like I will swear never to——' 'Oh, well! Feb 14, Erik rated it really liked it.
The Violet Fairy Book by Andrew Lang - Free Ebook
I haven't read all of the stories, but this book is quite good. I love the diverse sources and the pretty illustrations. I especially liked the Romanian, Serbian, and Japanese stories. Another bonus is that the cover is my favorite color! I was kind of weirded out by Virgilius the Sorcerer and Mogarzea and his Son, the two final stories in the book. The Girl Who Pretended to be a Boy genuinely confused me, as I couldn't understand what the moral was - is the story supposed to be a feminist story or a misogynistic one?
I couldn't tell.
- The Violet Fairy Book?
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Otherwise, the book was great. I've never read so many fairy tales from so many cultures one after the other. While the stories on their own are rich and engaging the illustrations are marvelous, as well , it's being able to read 35 stories together and learn about the similarities and differences among different countries' story-telling styles that I found the most interesting part of this book. May 30, Jennifer rated it really liked it. True rating: 4. As usual with Lang's Fairy Books , this was a very enjoyable collection of fairy tales from around the world.
Most here will be unfamiliar to a reader as they come from Japan, Serbia, Africa, Lithuania, etc. Oh, and as anyone knows who has looked into one of these Dover reprints, H. For True rating: 4. Fairy tales the way they should be written and presented. She will then tell you to goyour way back again; but take care not to stir from thespot. This is what you must say. What happens after is youraffair.
Petru asked no more, but went towards the house. By this time it was pitch dark, and there was onlythe ray of light that streamed through the windows toguide him, and at the sound of his footsteps two dogsbegan to bark loudly. Which of those dogs is barking? Is he tired of life? It is I, O goddess! I have lost my way on the heath, and do not knowwhere I am to sleep this night. Where did you leave your horse? Petru did not answer. He was not sure if he was Note About Images. At the time of upload, the image license was automatically confirmed using the Flickr API.
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