The Great Smack-Bam Contest

Most of my friends and friendly readers are familiar with my great art work and depiction of our pathological lying and fearless president, who somehow managed to escape the bites of feckless democrats. This despicable bully is again roaming the depleted devastated forests of America and denigrating all the fair-minded opponents running in the mid-term elections, opponents who believe in democratizing democracy. Consequently, I am holding a world-wide contest to counter this tyrannical madman’s vicious attacks. From October 22 to November 6, I am offering a free copy of my new book, Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men to anyone who can give this unfairly elected bully a new nickname much better than Dumpy Trump along with a small sketch. Second prize is another one of my books, Fearless Ivan, and His Faithful Horse-Double Hump. Third prize is: The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria.   Please send entries to:  The Judge for the contest is my daughter, Hanna Zipes, a feisty feminist.


Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men Political Fairy Tales of Édouard Laboulaye Translated and edited by Jack Zipes


  • Paperback ISBN 9780691181868 forthcoming November 2018

Wry political fairy tales from a nineteenth-century politician that speak to our current times Édouard Laboulaye (1811–1883), one of nineteenth-century France’s most prominent politicians and an instrumental figure in establishing the Statue of Liberty, was also a prolific writer of fairy tales. Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men brings together sixteen of Laboulaye’s most artful stories in new translations. Filled with biting social commentary and strong notions of social justice, these rediscovered tales continue to impart lessons today.
Inspired by folktales from such places as Estonia, Germany, Iceland, and Italy, Laboulaye’s deceptively entertaining stories explore the relationships between society and the ruling class. In “Briam the Fool,” the hero refuses the queen’s hand after he kills the king. In “Zerbino the Bumpkin,” the king and prime minister are idiots, while the king’s daughter runs away with a woodcutter to an enchanted island. And in the title story, “Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men,” a superficial prince is schooled by a middle-class woman who smacks him when he won’t engage in his lessons and follows him across Europe until he falls in love with her. In these worlds, shallow aristocrats come to value liberty, women are as assertive and intelligent as men, and protagonists experience compassion as they learn of human suffering.
With an introduction by leading fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes that places Laboulaye’s writing in historical context, Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men presents spirited tales from the past that speak to contemporary life.Jack Zipes is the editor of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (both Princeton), as well as The Great Fairy Tale Tradition (Norton). He is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.

Endorsements“In this collection, Jack Zipes, the most important fairy-tale scholar of his generation, revives the considerable work of nineteenth-century French jurist and politician Édouard Laboulaye, whose fairy tales have not been previously anthologized, much less republished or critically studied. This latest discovery is a welcome one, and Zipes’s translations of the tales are extremely well done.” —Domna C. Stanton, coeditor of Enchanted Eloquence: Fairy Tales by Seventeenth-Century French Women Writers

“Édouard Laboulaye’s witty stories have been overlooked by anthologizers and translators alike since the late nineteenth century. Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men presents new translations of his fairy tales in a modern edition. Bringing to the English-speaking world a writer famous in his day who slipped through the cracks of history, this collection fills a gap and is well worth our attention.” —Christine A. Jones, editor of Mother Goose Reconfigured: A Critical Translation of Charles Perrault’s Fairy Tales



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