“Once Upon a Time”: Timeless Fairy Tales Retold


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 revisits 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 allows us to include a number of perspectives—literary, cultural, psychological, and sociological.


Instructor: Vera Grant

Dates: Thursdays - April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30

Time: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: The Wasch Center - 51 Lawn Ave, Middletown, CT 06459

Cost: $150

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 German for many years.well as researching the rapidly increasing scholarship, she has shared her findings in seminars in English and German for many years.