Archive for January, 2011

Great comment by Deborah Netanel on my last Rapunzel post. She took me to task for glibly making a brief allusion to the fact that the tower could also represent the Garden of Eden and then going on with just an “oops,” and not exploring that further. Certainly, those who told western european fairy tales […]

Odds & Ends


January 30 marks one year of blogging, and this is my 98th post. Thanks to all who read and especially to those who comment. I just want to let everyone know that Jan and I will be teaching a course called Fairy Tale Magic and Why Kids Love It the week of July 24 at […]

Jan points out that it isn’t just that mom can’t tolerate the daughter’s sexual maturity that causes the mother/daughter (or witch-evil stepmother or whatever/daughter) relationship to go awry, it’s the mother’s desire to control and contain the whole of the daughter’s life. All of Rapunzel’s desires to be a separate, autonomous human being, to be […]

There’s a lot that’s on the surface in Rapunzel, even more so in the older, unexpurgated versions of the fairy tale. Of course, it’s a coming of age story: Rapunzel goes from a 12 year old to an adult with children. Mother Gothel obviously views the prospect of Rapunzel going through puberty and becoming a […]



This wonderful, complex fairy tale has multiple versions including, among others, two by the Brothers Grimm, an Italian version called Petrosinella (Parsley) by Giovambattiste Basile published in 1634 and a 10th century Persian version called Rudaba. The Grimms’ version is, according to Wikipedia, an adaptation of Persinette,¬†Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force originally published in […]