The Guardian discusses the 200th anniversary of the Brothers' Grimm fairy tales being marked, which brings up the opportunity to analyze their place in German history in terms of the Grimms' influence on German cultural identity, including Germany's sense of nationalism and cultural attitudes since the Nazi era.
An entire year of celebrations kicks off this week in Kassel, Germany, informs The Guardian, as a tribute to the 86 stories being first published in Die Kinder und Hausmarchen.
"Even during their lifetime the Grimms' book became a huge bestseller among every section of society," said Claudia Brinker-von der Heyde, the congress president. "And so they became an indispensable part of our everyday culture and our national identity."
However, these German fairy tales were not always so beloved in Germany.
In a recent essay in Der Spiegel, Matthias Matussek, one of the country's leading cultural commentators, argued that the "most successful book in the German language" offered an unparalleled exploration into the people's "dark souls", but said that most ordinary Germans had long ago fallen out of love with the storytelling masters. They were more revered everywhere else, from Asia and India to the US and elsewhere in Europe than in their native land.
Some cultural commentators seem to believe that the tales had an adverse effect on cultural identity.
So just where do the Brothers' tales fit into history? This article is a comprehensive read on the subject, is well written and worth the time to find out.