A Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder’s 75th Birthday
Edited By Andreas Nolte and Dennis Mahoney
This Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder, preeminent paremiologist and folklorist, combines personal tributes and scholarly papers by colleagues, friends, and former students – presented in three categories that address his roles as a mentor, scholar, and world citizen over many decades.
The central scholarly section likewise consists of three parts. The papers dealing with proverbs examine them as patterns, stereotypes, rhetorical devices, media for self-enchantment, and means of allusion in works by Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Chukovskaya, and Kempowski. A second group deals with fairy-tale motifs in literary works by Lehmann, Rabinowich, and Hummel. A third section includes topics ranging from James Bond to Stephen King, from runaway slaves to the Holocaust, and literature as cultural ecology.
Maria Hummel’s Motherland
True-to-Life ‘Children’s and Household Tales’ about the End of the Third Reich
Abstract: Very much in the spirit of Wolfgang Mieder’s work on modern-day modifications of traditional fairy tales, Maria Hummel’s retelling of “Fundevogel” (The Found Bird) by the Brothers Grimm takes on an uncanny relevance within her novel Motherland – but also in the context of contemporary American society.
It was a special honor for Wolfgang Mieder to have received the Europäischer Märchenpreis (European Fairy Tale Prize) in 2012, for this year marked the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of volume one of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales) of the Brothers Grimm.1 As Siegfried Neumann and Fabian Lampart have shown, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began their collection of tales in an attempt to record in writing and thereby preserve folk poetry amidst the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars and ensuing occupation of German territories.2 Although the first edition of 1812 and 1815 met with limited success, by the time of its centenary the Grimms’ collection had outstripped in popularity throughout German-speaking lands Ludwig Bechstein’s two competing volumes of German fairy tales from 1845 and 1856. With increased renown, however, also came its utilization in promoting a chauvinistically nationalistic notion of “Volk,” which reached a peak during the Nazi years. As a result, between 1945 and 1949 British and American occupying forces removed the Grimm fairy tales from schools and libraries, convinced that the brutality in these tales had...
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