Former University of Minnesota Professor Breathing New Life into Old Forgotten Fairy Tales
By Rachel M. Anderson, Contributing Writer
(Minneapolis, MN) – Jack Zipes is on a mission. “I want to unbury as many great tales as I can before I’m
buried,” laughs the Minneapolis man, who is now in his 80s.
Zipes is a retired Professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. He wrapped
up his teaching career in 2008 and soon thereafter teamed up with Princeton University Press to release “Oddly
Modern Fairy Tales.” The series, featuring unusual literary fairy tales produced mainly in the first half of the
twentieth century, has given new life to ten fairy tale books.
Zipes edited some of the stories and wrote the introductions for others; but while working on the series ran into
a series of difficulties. “The problem with working with university and commercial presses is that they are very
slow,” says Zipes, who isn’t satisfied with only being able to publish one book a year.
“I have between 30 and 40 titles I want to reintroduce and am not sure how much time I have left to do it,” he
says. Zipes’ solution was to start up a press of his own.
Little Mole and Honey Bear of Minneapolis released its first two books in 2019. The next two books in the
series are set for release in Sept. 2020; and for these titles Zipes is launching a partnership with Wise Ink
Creative Publishing of Minneapolis, which is helping with printing and distribution.
Keedle the Great, originally written by Deirdre and William Conselman, Jr., and illustrated by Fred L. Fox in
1940, is the story of a scrawny little kid who is cruel to animals. “He can’t stand seeing other people happy and
is just mean,” says Zipes. As the story progresses and Keedle becomes a bigger bully, he gets smaller and
smaller. It shows that bullies don’t last forever.
Yussuf the Ostrich, originally written and illustrated by Emery Kelen, one of the great political caricaturists of
the twentieth century, and released in 1943, is the story of a young idealistic ostrich, who has to overcome
racism, war and separation from his mother. “Until I came across this book in a booth at a bookfair in
Minneapolis, I never thought of ostriches as heroes; but the story and illustrations are just so enlightening and
enjoyable,” says Zipes.
Little Mole and Honey Bear’s soon-to-be-released titles share more in common than just being fairy tales from
the early part of the 20th Century getting a new life. “I think both books implicitly show that evil will not
triumph against good; and that you might have a bully, but he’s not going to last,” says Zipes, who adds that
both books speak to the issues we are currently going through here in the United States, as well as those people
are facing in the Middle East, Europe and Asian countries.
“There seems to be a rise in fascist rulers,” points out Zipes.
Keedle the Great and Yussuf the Ostrich will be followed by Zipes’ adapation of Tistou of the Green Thumbs,
originally written by Maurice Druon in 1958. That title is scheduled for release around Christmas time. At least
three additional titles are planned for release in 2021.
“I’m passionate about this because I want to share all of these great stories and open people’s eyes to a type of
fascism that is going on in the world today,” says Zipes, who adds that the narratives, fairy tales, folktales and
fantasies he plans to give a new life to are for both an adult audience and children.
Copies of Keedle the Great and Yussuf the Ostrich will be distributed by Itasca Books of Minnesota, and
available for purchase in stores, and online through both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.
Learn more about Little Mole and Honey Bear books and Jack Zipes’ work at Littlemolehoneybear.com.
About Jack Zipes
Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and
comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.
In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active
storyteller in public schools and has written fairy tales
for children and adults. In his happy retirement he
founded a small publishing house called Little Mole
and Honey Bear.
Some of his recent publications include: Tales of
Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Picture
Postcards (2017), Fearless Ivan and His Faithful
Horse Double-Hump (2018), The Hundred Riddles of
the Fairy Bellaria (2018), Slap-Bam, The Art of
Governing Men: Édouard Laboulaye’s Political Fairy
Tales (2018), The Giant Ohl and Tiny Tim (2019),
Johnny Breadless (2020), and Hermynia zur Mühlen’s The Castle of Truth and Other Revolutionary Tales
(2020). His new mission in life is to unbury dead and neglected authors of fantasy and to create conditions for a
This feature article is available for your use copyright free and cost-free. High resolution photography is
available for free as well upon request. To arrange an interview of your own with Jack Zipes, contact Rachel M.
Anderson, Publicist, at 952-240-2513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I have recently published a study of Ernst Bloch’s significant works with PalgraveMacmillan and would like to share this book with all of you interested in one of the major philosophers of the 20th Century. The book is very expensive, and I suggest that you wait until the paperback edition appears before you buy a copy of the book. For those desperate to read about Bloch before the paperback book appears, drop me a line, and I shall seek a way to send you a copy of the book.
One more word: Bloch’s provocative philosophy along with the works of the Frankfurt School has shaped my thinking, and this book is a tribute to the best of them all – Bloch should not be forgotten!
© 2019 Ernst Bloch
The Pugnacious Philosopher of Hope
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to and overview of the life and philosophy of Ernst Bloch. Bloch has had a strange fate in the English-speaking world. He wrote his famous three-volume opus, The Principle of Hope, while living in exile in the United States from 1938 to 1949. It was first published, however, in East Germany in the 1950s after he had returned to Europe and became a professor of philosophy at the University of Leipzig, and later at the University of Tübingen after he fled East Germany. Gradually, his other numerous works became better known and widespread in Europe and scholars in the US and UK started to take note of his works. Yet, he has still remained a somewhat neglected figure in the humanities. While this book does not set out to entirely rectify this neglect, it does offer readers an introduction to Bloch’s works and the opportunity to understand more about the importance of utopian thought. Through an exploration of Bloch’s critique of fascism related to contemporary events and his unique essays on art, popular culture, and religion, this comprehensive study demonstrates just how interesting a figure Ernst Bloch really was, and how his philosophy of hope has laid the basis for secular humanism.
Below you will find some images of my most recent books. I am presently working on two children’s books, Fearless Ivan and his Faithful Horse Double-Hump (U of Minnesota Press) and Who Am I? (illustrated by Alexandra Antonopoulu). In September Princeton University Press will be publishing another new book, a translation of Edouard Laboulaye’s fairy tales, Smack-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men, part of my series Oddly-Modern Fairy Tales. This series is undergoing a “remake” in the form of paperback editions, thanks to Princeton University Press and the efforts of my editor, Anne Savarese. I am very grateful for the support I have received from Princeton. Finally, I am collaborating once again with the talented Natalie Frank, who will be illustrating an unusual collection of Mme d’Aulnoy’s Fairy Tales.
Here is my most recent book for young and old. Just published! It is the most popular fairy tale in present-day Russia, and is well known in most Slavic countries. It is a tale against tyrants whether they be tyrannical in Russia or the United States. They get what they deserve in my version of the story, and my hope is that they will get the same punishment in reality.
ODDLY MODERN FAIRY TALES
Jack Zipes, Series Editor
Oddly Modern Fairy Tales is a series dedicated to publishing unusual literary fairy tales produced mainly during the first half of the twentieth century. International in scope, the series includes new translations, surprising and unexpected tales by well- known writers and artists, and uncanny stories by gifted yet neglected authors. Postmodern before their time, the tales in Oddly Modern Fairy Tales transformed the genre and still strike a chord.
Kurt Schwitters Lucky Hans and Other Merz Fairy Tales, ed. Jack Zipes
Béla Balázs The Cloak of Dreams: Chinese Fairy Tales, ed. Jack Zipes
Peter Davies, editor The Fairies Return: Or, New Tales for Old, ed. Maria Tatar
Naomi Mitchison The Fourth Pig, ed. Marina Warner
Walter de la Mare Told Again: Old Tales Told Again, ed. Philip Pullman
Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories in the French Decadent Tradition, Gretchen Schultz and Lewis Seifert
Smack- Bam, or The Art of Governing Men: Political Fairy Tales of Édouard Laboulaye, ed. Jack Zipes
Workers’ Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain, Ed. Michael Rosen
The Great Refusal: Studies of the Romantic Hero in German and American Literature,Ottendorfer Series, Bad Homburg/Frankfurt: Athenäum, 1970.
Steppenwolf and Everyman, a translation of essays by Hans Mayer with an introductory essay on Mayer, New York: Crowell, 1971.
Crowell’s Handbook of Contemporary Drama, with M. Anderson, J. Guicharnaud, K. Morrison, essays on German, Swiss, and Austrian dramatists and plays, New York, Crowell, 1971.
Romantik in kritischer Perspektive by Marianne Thalmann, a collection of essays edited and introduced with an essay on Thalmann, Heidelberg: Stiehm, 1976.
Political Plays for Children: The Grips Theater of Berlin, a translation of three plays with an introduction about the history of the Grips Theater, St. Louis: Telos, 1976.
Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales, London: Heinemann, 1979 and Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979.
Rotkäppchens Lust und Leid, abridged German edition of The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, Cologne: Diederichs, 1982.
The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood: Versions of the Tale in Sociocultural Context, South Hadley: Bergin & Garvey, 1983, and London: Heinemann, 1983.
Die Libelle und die Seerose. Märchen von Carl Ewald, a collection of fairy tales edited and introduced with an essay on Ewald, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1983.
Es war – Es wird einmal. Soziale Märchen aus der Weimarer Republik, with Dieter Richter and Bernd Dolle, a collection of fairy tales edited and introduced with an essay on the history of fairy tales in Germany, Munich: Peter Weismann, 1983.
Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization, London: Heinemann, 1983, and New York, Methuen, 1983.
Aufstand der Elfen. Phantastische Erzählungen aus dem viktorianischen England, a collection of fairy tales edited and introduced with an essay on the fairy tale in England, Cologne: Diederichs, 1984.
Germans and Jews since the Holocaust, ed. with A. Rabinbach, New York: Holmes & Meier, 1986.
Don’t Bet on the Prince. Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England, New York: Methuen, and London: Gower, 1986.
Victorian Fairy Tales, an anthology of British fairy tales with an introduction to the tales and authors, New York and London: Methuen, 1987.
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, translated with an introduction on the Grimms and annotations, New York: Bantam, 1987. (Based on final 7th Edition)
The Utopian Function of Art and Literature, essays by Ernst Bloch translated with Frank Mecklenburg and introduced with an essay on Bloch’s life and work, Cambridge: MITPress, 1987.
The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World, New York: Routledge, 1988.
Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales, translated with an introductio on “The Rise of the French Fairy Tale and the Decline of France,” New York: New American Library, 1989.
Fairy Tales and Fables from Weimar Days, translated with an introduction, Hanover: University Press of New England, 1989.
Arabian Nights: The Marvels and Wonders of the Thousand and One Nights, adapted from Richard F. Burton’s unexpurgated translation, annotated, with an afterword, New York: New American Library, Signet Classic,1991.
Französische Märchen. Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1991.
The Operated Jew: Two Tales of Anti-Semitism. Translated with commentary, New York: Routledge, 1991.
Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture. New York: Viking,1991.
Aesop’s Fables, adapted with an afterword, New York: New American Library, 1992.
The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood. Revised Edition. New York: Routledge, Contains a new introduction, prologue, epilogue, bibliography, and six additional oral and literary versions of Little Red Riding Hood.
The Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight. Bantam: New York, 1994.
Amerikanische Märchen. Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1994.
Fairy Tale as Myth\Myth as Fairy Tale. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1994.
Britische Märchen. Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1995.
The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse, translated with an introduction on Hesse and notes. New York: Bantam Books, 1995.
Creative Storytelling: Building Community/Changing Lives. New York: Routledge, 1995.
The Grammar of Fantasy by Gianni Rodari translated with an introduction and notes. New York: Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 1996.
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry. New York: Routledge,
Yale Companion of Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture, 1066-1966, edited with Sander Gilman. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1997.
The Wonderful World of Oz: The Wizard of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Glinda of Oz, Edited with an introduction on L. Frank Baum. New York: Penguin, 1998.
When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and Their Tradition. New York: Routledge, 1999.
The Arabian Nights: More Marvels and Wonders of the Thousand and One Nights, Vol. II, adapted from Richard F. Burton’s unexpurgated translation, annotated, with an afterword, New York: New American Library, Signet Classic, 1999.
The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales: The Western Fairy Tale Tradition from Medieval to Modern, edited with an introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter. New York: Routledge, 2000.
The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm. New York: Norton, 2001.
Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Frederick Crane, edited with an introduction and notes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001.
Unlikely History: The Changing German-Jewish Symbiosis, 1945-2000, edited with Leslie Morris. New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales. Revised and Expanded Edition. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002. This edition includes a new preface and a new final chapter, “The Radical Morality of Rats, Fairies, Wizards, and Ogres: Taking Children Seriously.” All the other chapters have been extensively altered and expanded.
The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World. Revised and Expanded Second Edition. New York: Palgrave, 2002. This edition includes a new preface and a new final chapter, “The Struggle for the Grimms’ Throne: The legacy of the Grimms’ Tales in East and West Germany since 1945.” All the chapters have been extensively changed.
Beautiful Angiola: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales Collected by Laura Gonzenbach. New York: Routledge, 2003.
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Illustr. John Gruelle. 3rd rev. and enlarged edition. New York: Bantam, 2003.
The Robber with a Witch’s Head: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales Collected by Laura Gonzenbach. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature. General Editor. New York: Norton, 2005.
Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Beautiful Angiola: The Lost Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Laura Gonzenbach. New York:Routledge, 2006. This is the paperback edition of two volumes published previously in 2003 and 2004, and it includes two additional dialect tales and a revised introduction.
Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization. Second Revised Edition. New York: Routledge, 2006. This edition includes two new chapters and a new preface.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. Editor in Chief. 4 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre. New York: Routledge, 2006.
When Dreams Came True: Classical Fairy Tales and their Tradition. 2nd Rev. and Expanded
Edition. New York: Routledge, 2007. This edition includes three new essays on E. T. A. Hoffmann, Hans Christian Andersen, and J. M. Barrie. All the essays have been extensively revised.
The Collected Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Giuseppe Pitrè. Edited and Translated by Jack Zipes and Joseph Russo. Illustr. Carmelo Lettere. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children’s Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Tales to Change the World, by Gianni Rodari. Edited and Translated by Jack Zipes. Illustr. Rob Mason. London, UK: Caseroom Press, 2008.
Lucky Hans and other Merz Fairy Tales, by Kurt Schwitters. Edited and Translated by Jack Zipes. Illustr. Irvin Peacock. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
The Cloak of Dreams: Chinese Fairy Tales by Béla Balázs. Translated and Introduced by Jack Zipes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.
Little Red Riding Hood and Other Classic French Fairy Tales. Trans. Jack Zipes. New York: Penguin, 2011. Selections from Beauties, Beasts and Enchantments.
The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of the Fairy-Tale Film. New York: Routledge, 2011.
The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social Evolution of a Genre. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
German Popular Stories by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Adapted by Edgar Taylor. Ed. Jack Zipes. Maidstone, Kent: Crescent Moon, 2012.
Principessa Bel di Topo e altre 41 fiabe da scoprire. Edited by Jack Zipes. Trans. Camilla Miglio. Illustr. Fabian Negrin. Rome: Donzelli, 2012.
The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2013.
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
Grimm Legacies: The Magic Power of the Grimms’ Folk and Fairy Tales, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Edited by Jack Zipes. 2nd revised edition. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2015.
Fairy-Tale films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives. Edited by Jack Zipes, Pauline Greenhill, and Kendra Magnus-Johnston. New York: Routledge, 2015.
Catarina the Wise and Other Wondrous Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
Tales of Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Postcards. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
Slap-Bam, or The Art of Governing Men: The Political Fairy Tales of Édouard Laboulaye.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
The 100 Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria, by Charles Godfrey Leland, edited by Jack Zipes.Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2018.