Christa Kamenetsky

Christa Kamenetsky studied at the universities of Freiburg, Munich, Central Michigan, and Washington and is the author of Children's Literature in Hitler's Germany (Ohio University Press). She is a professor of English at Central Michigan University where she teaches children’s literature and comparative literature.

Listed in: Literary Criticism · European Literature · Literary Studies

Brothers Grimm and Their Critics · Folktales and the Quest for Meaning
By Christa Kamenetsky

Critics of the Grimms' folktales have often imposed narrow patriotic, religious, moralistic, social, and pragmatic meanings of their stories, sometimes banning them altogether from nurseries and schoolrooms. In this study, Kamenetsky uses the methodology of the folklorist to place the folktale research of the Grimms within the broader context of their scholarly work in comparative linguistics and literature.

"This new book is, to date, the most comprehensive study in English of the Grimms and their märchen, and it is very likely the best. Believing the brothers' aims and methods to have been misunderstood, Christa Kamenetsky emphasizes their internationalism, their lack of dogmatism, their ties to the Romantic movement (especially their devotion to the ideal of Naturpoesie), and the relationship between Jacob's research on language and their ideas about the origin of the tales. [Kamenetsky] bases her assertions on the Grimms' own notes and commentary, which she claims to have been generally overlooked."