Happily Ever After

Once upon a time—long, long ago—our ancestors created myths and told stories of heroes’ quests and heroines’ trials and tribulations. Thousands of these ancient threads in the fabric of fantasy and fiction were woven into folktales and literary fairy tales. While Briar Rose, a.k.a. Dornröschen, had her 100-year-long beauty sleep in the Kingdom of Magic, the Brothers Grimm produced a collection of more than 200 Children’s and Household Tales in the real world of the 19th century. Many of these stories have lived happily ever after, being translated into many languages, adapted to other media, and quoted or alluded to in various contexts.
This course will focus on close readings of some of the Brothers Grimm’s work, comparing it to material from other countries. Adding two more complex “art fairy tales” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and E. T. A. Hoffmann will allow us to include a number of perspectives—literary, cultural, psychological, and sociological.

Instructor: Vera Grant

FIVE THURSDAYS: APRIL 9, 16, 23, 30, and MAY 7
4:30–6 P.M.


Vera Grant
VERA GRANT , who was born, raised, and educated in Germany, is adjunct professor of German studies, emerita, at Wesleyan. She taught German language, literature, and culture with an emphasis on foreign language acquisition while she explored radio plays, children’s literature, and fairy tales. Delving more deeply into the origins and hidden meanings of fairy tales as well as researching the rapidly increasing scholarship, she has shared her findings in seminars in English and German for many years.