It was only after the Grimms published two editions primarily for adults that they changed their attitude and decided to produce a shorter edition for middle-class families. This led to Wilhelm's editing and censoring many of the tales.
In 1995, I founded a storytelling program for children called Neighborhood Bridges in collaboration with the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, which is 15 elementary schools in the Twin Cities.
Though the Grimms kept about 100 of the tales from the first edition, they changed them a good deal.
I have a daughter, Hanna, and I never read fairy tales to her. But I did tell her bedtime tales and made up many tales involving 'Gory the Goblin' and other creatures that I borrowed from the Grimms' tales and other tales I knew.
'Once Upon a Time', 'Mirror Mirror' – those shows and films focus on women and their conflict with one another. What the heck is going on in contemporary fairy tales? Women are not dominating the world; they are not evil.
Almost every single commercial on television for shampoo, sports shoes, drinks, food, clothes, perfume, cars, etc., is a short fairy tale, for they are given magical qualities.
The Grimm collections were never intended for children. Not because kids were excluded, but because the division we make today of children's literature didn't exist then. The idea of protecting children from tales with violence didn't occur until the earlier part of the 19th century.
I've tried to show in my most recent book, the 'Irresistible Fairytale', that in order to talk about any genre, particularly what we call simple genre – a myth, a legend, an anecdote, a tall tale, and so on – we really have to understand something about the origin of stories all together.
Fairy tales are with us day in and day out, not just in commercials, but references in the theater, movies, museums, schools, etc.
What the Greeks and Romans considered myths, we consider fairy tales. We can see how very clearly the myths, which emanated from all cultures, had a huge influence on the development of the modern fairy tale.