Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men

Come One and All to Magers & Quinn Sunday, January 13,   5pm – 7 pm     Two renowned Minneapolis actors, Maria Asp and Leif Jurgensen, will display how truths can be discovered in fairy tales, while Jack Zipes will speak about how he discovered the political tales of Edouard Laboulaye and why they are still so relevant for surviving in our present perverse world.   Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men Political Fairy Tales Édouard Laboulaye Translated and edited by Jack Zipes Wry political fairy tales from a nineteenth-century politician that speak to our current times Edouard 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-Barn, 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 classes. In this collection, Jack Zipes, the most important fairy-tale scholar of his gen-eration, revives the considerable work of nineteenth-century French jurist and politician Édouard Laboulaye, whose fairy tales have not been previously anthologized, much less repub-lished or critically studied This latest discovery is a welcome one, and Zipes’s translations of the tales are […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Dear Friends,   Below you will find the last of my posts of fairy tales that reveal their provocatively deep meanings for our present days.  Whether clothed in metaphors, or whether just clothed, fairy tales reveal the naked truths of tyranny. I am now turning to two projects, a monograph of Ernst Bloch, the great philosopher of Hope, and a YA novella¸ “The Land of Lies.” One of Bloch’s last essays was “Can Hope Be Disappointed?” The answer is clear” Of course, but it can never die.”   The Reward of the Emperor without Clothes Jack Zipes   Soon after the Emperor without clothes had realized he was nude and that a young innocent child had spoken the truth and exposed his stupidity, he ordered the boy to come to his palace. Everyone believed that the Emperor was going to reward the lad for being so honest and courageous. Instead, the plump vindictive king ordered his guards to take the boy to the royal kitchen where the cook was to butcher the famished boy and put all his bones and flesh into a gigantic pie. Once the chef had finished baking the sumptuous pie, seven enormous wrestlers, all nude, were dispatched to carry the pie to a grand table in the palace courtyard. The king, too, was completely naked and stood on a pedestal in front of all his courtiers and thousands of local residents and peasants who had been compelled […]

Read More →

Dear Friends, Most people don’t realize how wise fairy tales are and how they speak truth to abusiove authoritarian rulers. So today and next week, I shall share a bit of wisdom with you that might help the pope and cardinals of the Catholic church. Next week, a bit of truth for tyrants and their followers. Never lose hope! Jack Zipes     The Three Languages: There was once an old count who lived in Switzerland, and he had an only son, who was quite stupid and could not learn anything. “Listen, my son,” the father said. I can’t get anything to sink into your head, no matter how much I try. So, I’m sending you away from here and placing you under the care of a famous master. Let us see what he can do with you.” The young man was sent to a strange city and stayed with the master for a whole year. At the end of this time he came home, and his father asked, “Well, my son, what have you learned?” “Father,” he responded, “I’ve learned to understand the barking of dogs.” “May God have mercy on us!” the father exclaimed. “Is that all you’ve learned? Well, now I’m going to send you to a master in another city.” The young man was taken there and stayed one year with the master as well. When he came back home, his father asked again, “My son, […]

Read More →