Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smokin' Cinderellas This Sunday! Sunday! SUNDAY!

Simply Victorian Cinderellas, all day long! Find them at smokin' Valentine Grimm, your hot shop for cool chops for all your craft needs. Chops - you know, little crops of images formatted so you can, uh...Sunday! See sweet Cinderella go from rags to riches in dozens of darling old drawings! See pumpkins turn into golden carriages and ugly stepsisters turn into green-eyed monsters! Bring your godmother, bring your godfather to see Valentine Grimm bring the Cinderellas. I'll be posting links tomorrow cuz I'm not listing them till Sunday. Sunday! SUNDAY!!!

(Rest in peace, Jan Gabriel.)

Cinderella gets a lot of flak as a story about a passive female who yearns to be rescued from her sad situation by a man of wealth and privilege. But that's a very contemporary interpretation of a very ancient tale - one not based on an accurate reading of the story.

In every version I've heard or read, Cinderella wants to go to the ball just to see it, like going to a movie. It is her stepsisters who ridicule her with taunts about marrying the prince, who they vainly believe one of them will win. They are unsatisfied with what they have while Cinderella, who has so little, resigns herself to her position in obedience to the words of her dead mother. 

That's why what some pop psychologist labeled "the Cinderella complex" should by rights be called "the stepsister complex." Cinderella takes care of herself without any help from men, including her father who is cowed by his new wife. The prince is not her rescuer but her reward for taking care of others without complaint. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Am I Related to the Brothers Grimm?

Welcome to Valentine Grimm, my Etsy-sellin' entity. I'm not Valentine Grimm but my great-great-great-grandfather was, according to research conducted by my (older, always prettier, far more talented, but still - older) sister. So I started wondering: are we related to the brothers of fairy tale fame?

Wikipedia states that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in 1785 and '86 respectively, and raised in Hanau, Germany. If I read my sister's notes right, Valentine was born about 15 years earlier in the village of Unkenbach, which is about 125 kilometers due west of Hanau. 

Seems pretty close to me. However, my Friend Who Knows Everything points out that, back before the introduction of the horseless carriage, most people never traveled more than 20 kilometers from their place of birth. 

So Valentine never met Jacob and Wilhelm, and anyway he came to America and settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country. But I will still harbor the fantasy that they were distant cousins even though I know I'm peasant stock, through and through.