Friday, 21 September 2012

Brothers Grimm on The World Tonight

Last night, the Brothers Grimm featured on BBC radio 4's The World Tonight programme, as part of celebrations for the 200th anniversary of their first published collection of fairy tales.
The World Tonight  
BBC radio 4, 22:00, 20th September
It was only a short segment of the programme, but they discussed some pretty interesting things. For example, according to a survey of Britain's parents, 90% say they read fairy tales to their children, and more then 50% prefer the Grimm fairy tales to all the others. 90%! I didn't expect the number to be so high considering all the negative media recently about 'how bad fairy tales are for children'. 

One writer was asked why fairy tales still appeal to children - because surely it is all about Harry Potter these days - and they said a large part of it was probably to do with the fact that things just happen to you, regardless of who you are, unlike in Harry Potter, where only certain children are selected for great things to happen to, who then have to spend time in training anyway.

They did bring up the violence and unjust punishment in the earlier tales, e.g. in the original Frog Princess, the princess attacks the frog in order to gain her reward. A psychologist commented that this is how children learn to deal with scary situations - within the safe confines of a book.

There appear to be quite a few Grimm features around the BBC at the moment, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

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