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My Childhood's Favorite Presents - Books

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    Posted 1 year ago

    truthordare
    (336 items)

    This will be more of Tell than a Show post.

    I am still highly influenced by my youth's stories and tales. My dad was a big reader and I was the one out of four kids who also enjoyed it tremendously from the age of 8. His first book presents were newly published children's fairy tales, that were classics, as well as short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, etc.

    This book is one I found in one of our local charity stores for a dollar. It was a reminder of what I enjoyed and learned from when young, as well as my dad's kindness. We moved often so the books I had often did not follow with the packing done by my mother.

    Andersen stories included "The Emperor's New Clothes", a very popular tale that was published and translated in many languages. I will post some exerpts as well as a modern analysis of the plot and it's conclusion. This story had a great effect on me, I kept that value my whole life. Old fashioned maybe, but it colored my points of view and my behavior since.

    What is ironic and maybe surprising is that the message is just as appropriate today, if not more, in our political climate, as well as our lifestyle beliefs and tolerance.

    From Wikipedia:

    "The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish: Kejserens nye klæder) is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor
    parades before his subjects in his new "clothes", no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" The tale has been translated into over 100 languages.

    "The Emperor’s New Clothes" was first published with "The Little Mermaid" in Copenhagen, by C. A. Reitzel, on 7 April 1837, as the third and final installment of Andersen's Fairy Tales Told for Children. The tale has been adapted to various media, and the story's title, the phrase "The Emperor has no clothes", and variations thereof have been adopted for use in numerous other works and as an idiom; A vain emperor who cares too much about wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who claim to make the most beautiful clothes and elaborate patterns. The weavers are con-men who convince the emperor they are using a fine fabric invisible to anyone who is either unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The con lies in that the weavers are actually only pretending to manufacture the clothes. Thus, no one, not even the emperor nor his ministers can see the alleged "clothes", but they all pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished and they mime dressing the emperor who then marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Finally, a child in the crowd blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is then taken up by others. The emperor realizes the assertion is true but continues the procession.

    Maria Tatar observes that "The Emperor's New Clothes" is one of Andersen's best-known tales and one that has acquired an iconic status globally as it migrates across various cultures reshaping itself with each retelling in the manner of oral folktales. Scholars have noted that the phrase, "Emperor's new clothes", has become a standard metaphor for anything that smacks of pretentiousness, pomposity, social hypocrisy, collective denial, or hollow ostentatiousness. Historically, the tale established Andersen's reputation as a children's author whose stories actually imparted lessons of value for his juvenile audience, and "romanticized" children by "investing them with the courage to challenge authority and to speak truth to power." With each successive description of the swindlers'
    wonderful cloth, it becomes more substantial, more palpable, and a thing of imaginative beauty for the reader even though it has no material existence. Its beauty, however, is obscured at the end of the tale with the obligatory moral message for children. Tatar is left wondering if the real value of the tale is the creation of the wonderful fabric in the reader's imagination or the tale's closing message of
    speaking truth no matter how humiliating to the recipient."

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    Comments

    1. Newfld Newfld, 1 year ago
      Fabulous post Lisa, I too adored the Hans Christian Andersen fairytales, a couple faves were the Ugly Duckling and The Red Shoes, the latter has always been a favorite ballet film too
    2. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Thank you Jenni, glad you enjoyed it and also knew what I was referring to. Best, Lisa
    3. LaurenRedmond LaurenRedmond, 1 year ago
      This is a beautiful edition of Hans Andersen's tales- my favourites of his were the Snow Queen and The Red Shoes(even though that terrified me as a child!)
    4. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Thank You Keramikos and Lauren. Makes me happy that my topic resonated with other members, it makes it worthwhile.
    5. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 1 year ago
      Did we not all read fairy tales when we were young.? Some were darn right spooky.
      Grimms for example...I had a small paperback, circa 1960’s, and I remember one story, “Little One Eye, Two Eyes, and Three Eyes”. A German fairy tale, that I read over and over.
      Wind in the Willows was another favorite, and of course Thornton Burgess animal stories..”Unc Billy Possum” my favorite.. thank you , for this wonderful post and bringing back childhood memories!
    6. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Mrs. C,
      I don't know if we all read fairy tales. We were raised in French, but e could read in English. During this period children were raised with discipline in the purpose of not spoiling them. A pediatrician wrote a 'how to book' about children and this was a bible for new mothers.
      If babies cried at night, the advice was let them cry. Going to bed involved kissing good night and in bed we went, lights out.
      Reading was our own initiative, some kids did and some did not, and played with their toys instead.
      I live in a retiree area and surprised so few of them read books. Must be very boring sometimes. Unless you are a collector, ha ha.
    7. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Keramikos,
      I found Mark Twain and his books a bit racist. It was the attitude then. I remember reading Uncle Tom's Cabin in High School, and was totally shocked by the world of slavery, and their treating these people like breeding stock. They had names for every generation percentage of the mix of whites and blacks descendant results.
    8. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      "octoroons", is that 1/8? That made me laugh.

      We have a funny situation here in Canada, if you can prove you are part Indian or close to 100% Indian, from a tribe that was here for centuries. The government has a fund set up as a compensation of all the bad things that happened to them, including loss of property, liberty, and a status that is not Canadian but Tribal Indian with different rights and ways to live as well as where to live.

      I am 1/16th Huron Indian, my great grandfather 8 times removed married a metis woman, whose father was a trapper and trader in the early of New France.

      We are talking about several thousands of dollars, the hitch is how can you possibly prove it? Silly situation.

      Nice chatting with you Keramikos. :-)
    9. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Just to keep with the book topic, I read a lot of historical novels and always fascinated with the AD European movements of population with the Empire building and slave contingents.

      This affects my perception of DNA, as we in North America are from a melting pot of races from a vast European and African area. As you said. :-)
    10. jscott0363 jscott0363, 1 year ago
      What a wonderful book of fairy tails!! I love books such as this.
    11. truthordare truthordare, 1 year ago
      Thanks jscott, it always nice to see your comments and love.

      Thank you all CW members for your comments and love, always appreciated.
    12. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 7 months ago
      You got me...
      I did read very little as a kid, in fact my Teacher complained to my Mother about it. “Get Eileen to read more!” My Mother replied, “ I would if I could catch her!”
      But you see, I grew up on a beach on the central coast of California. That was my back yard! We were never inside after School...never!
      But I did have a few books, and that one stuck with me, along with just a few others!
    13. truthordare truthordare, 5 months ago
      done, thank you, it makes a huge difference to hear what you have to say this morning. Best, Lisa

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