Jack Zipes Virtual Book Launch: “The Castle of Truth” and “Johnny Breadless”

A virtual book launch will be viewable on Facebook Live on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at 7:00 pm CDT.

Jack Zipes will present two new translations of modern fairy tales: Hermynia Zur Mühlen’s ‘The Castle of Truth and Other Revolutionary Tales’ and Paul Vaillant-Couturier’s ‘Johnny Breadless.’ The event is being hosted by Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, MN. Professor Zipes provided review quotes for Loren Niemi’s book “What Haunts Us.”

The author is the translator of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and editor of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (both Princeton), as well as editor of The Great Fairy Tale Tradition (Norton). He is a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.

Tune in to the Facebook livestream event by accessing this link:

The Castle of Truth is available for purchase online through the publisher: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691201252/the-castle-of-truth-and-other-revolutionary-tales

From the Princeton University Press website; “Hermynia Zur Mühlen (1883–1951), one of the twentieth century’s great political writers, was not seemingly destined for a revolutionary, unconventional literary career.

Altogether, Zur Mühlen wrote thirty novels, mysteries, and story collections, and translated around 150 works, including those of Upton Sinclair, John Galsworthy, and Edna Ferber.

The Castle of Truth and Other Revolutionary Tales presents English readers with a selection of Zur Mühlen’s best political fairy tales, some translated from German for the first time.

In contrast to the classical tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, Zur Mühlen’s candid, forthright stories focus on social justice and the plight of the working class, with innovative plots intended to raise the political consciousness of readers young and old.

This new Zipes translation of “Johnny Breadless” is available through the publisher’s website at https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/johnny-breadless

From Wayne State University Press; “During World War I at Christmas time in 1914 there were sudden widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front organized by the French, British, and German soldiers. They crossed trenches to exchange food, souvenirs, and ideas.

“Paul Vaillant-Couturier (1892–1937) was one of the French soldiers among those who celebrated truce. …after enlisting in the French army and serving in the infantry and artillery, he came to realize how cruel war was and caused the deaths of thousands of young men who sacrificed their lives to protect the interests of the ruling classes.

“Concerned about the future of young people, Vaillant-Couturier published numerous books about the war, and one of his most significant works was Jean sans pain (Johnny Breadless, 1921). It describes a much different education than he had received, for Johnny Breadless is an orphan and does not understand why and how his parents died and why there is no help for him. It is only after he encounters an amazing rabbit who takes him on a trip to various parts of France during World War I that Johnny begins to grasp the true conditions that lead to the exploitation of common people and to wars that benefit the rich. It is in this remarkable fairy-tale novel that a ceasefire takes place—one that gives Johnny hope that people can live together in peace. It is a truce that Vaillant-Courturer “waged” for most of his life.”

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