Die Rache roher Texte. Treue zum Unsinn in den Kinder- und Hausmärchen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimms

Mona Körte


This essay focuses on two different but nonetheless interdependent phenomena: nonsense and revenge as hitherto underappreciated aspects of the original context of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen. In Jacob Grimm’s “Sammelaufruf zur Mitarbeit” of 1811, nonsense as creative surplus serves as an explicit reminder of the oral tradition. Nonsense in this form, however, is unrelated to the artistic nonsense found in German Romantic Kunstmärchen. In the Kinder- und Hausmärchen, revenge is an implicit and nonsense-utilizing strategy that acts on various levels: on the meta-level, nonsense serves as a vehicle for revenge directed at the displacement of the oral by the written form, as revealed in the earliest version of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1810). Closer analysis of the cumulative-tale genre further reveals that revenge finds expression in the combination of the chain-narrative form and linguistic repetition, which in turn supplants reason and sense with escalation and excess. (MK; in German)

View Full Text

This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

Purchase access

You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.