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Press release: Once upon a Grimm…. – Jack Zipes at The Story Museum. 28 March 2013

Wednesday 27th March

The Story Museum presents
Once upon a Grimm…
Michael Rosen in conversation with Jack Zipes
Friday 26 April 2013, 5 – 7pm at The Story Museum

The Story Museum’s successful series of The Thousand and One conversations will return in April with a celebration of the bicentenary of Children’s and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm – better known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Expert Jack Zipes will be joining us to explore their legacy.

Transcribed from tales told in the oral tradition, the stories have been ‘woven into the fabric of our lives’ over the last 200 years. Books, films and even video games seek ways to adapt and re-tell the famous narratives. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and the Big Bad Wolf have all made appearances in adverts for hotels, hair straighteners and handbags.  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters came to cinemas in February, and Story Museum patron Philip Pullman was selected by Penguin Classics to author the anniversary collection of Grimm Tales: For Young and Old last autumn.

WH Auden described fairy tales as: an ‘indispensable’ foundation of Western culture, and ranked them ‘next to the Bible in importance’. How were the stories received when the Brothers Grimm first published them, and how have attitudes towards them changed during the last two centuries?

Jack Zipes is a world-renowned expert on fairy tales and folklore, and their place in society. Based in the US, he is a visiting professor at Anglia Ruskin University, and this is a rare opportunity to see him in the UK. He will be talking to Michael Rosen about the ‘extraordinary, uncanny power’ that the Grimm’s tales still hold over us.

Everyone is invited to come and join us in the relaxed and intimate setting of the Story Exchange, and sit in on the conversation between these two fascinating authors.

Doors (and bar) open at 5pm. Main event (followed by Q &A) at 5.30pm. Bar and book signing from 6.45pm.

Tickets cost £8 (£6), and can be purchased at – please ring 01865 790050 for more information.


Editors’ notes

Jack Zipes is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active storyteller in public schools and has worked with children’s theaters in Europe and the United States. Some of his major publications include Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales (1979), The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (1988) and Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006). Recent works include The Enchanted Screen: the Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (2010) and The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012). He has translated The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (published by Random House) including tales that were deleted and were in their posthumous papers. He believes that: ‘over the centuries we have transformed the ancient myths and folk tales and made them into the fabric of our lives. Consciously and unconsciously we weave the narratives of myth and folk tale into our daily existence.’

Michael Rosen is a poet, writer, broadcaster and former children’s laureate – and Curator of Stories at The Story Museum.

The Thousand and One is a programme of ‘storycatching’ sessions with leading experts in the field, and members of the public, young and old. They are designed to help the fledgling Museum choose the 1001 stories which will form the core of its collection.
See the website for more information.
You can download high-res pictures of the speakers here.

The Story Museum celebrates story and storytelling in all its forms, sharing enjoyable ways for young people to learn through stories as they grow. Since 2005 it has been piloting programmes in schools and communities, particularly the most disadvantaged, which reach 10,000 children a year. The Story Museum is working to open a magical new world centre of children’s literature and storytelling in the heart of Oxford. Look out for events, talks and workshops for all ages as the fairy dust starts to transform its dilapidated and eccentric home. And don’t miss its quirky and mysterious window displays on to the outside world, including the Princess’s famous pea.
The Museum’s patrons are Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.
The Story Museum is supported by Arts Council England.

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