Rus Articles Journal

In what secret of a charm of fairy tales of Wilhelm Gauf?

Many critics consider that they on depth and originality of the fairy tale of Wilhelm Gauf concede to the same Hoffman`s fairy tales, the reader`s love to them does not run low. The main reason of this love is quite clear - Gauf, first of all, the excellent story-teller. Its purpose - to carry away, intrigue the listener, to force will plunge into the fairy tale.

entertaining of a plot and bright images is much more important than the philosophical depth and romantic tendency For Gauf. Perhaps for this reason these fairy tales in so graceful and simple language that are still perceived easily and without tension are written (what you will not tell about Hoffman).

The second feature of fairy tales of Gauf is their stylistic registration. It one of the first began to release fairy tales collections in the form of the almanac. He allegorically explains the decision in the introduction “The fairy tale under the guise of the Almanac“ where the daughter the Fairy tale complains mothers of the Imagination that she is considered as “old maid“ and not “let in on a threshold“ literatures. Really, at the time of Gauf the fairy tale began to be considered “unfashionable“, but magnificently illustrated annual collections of short stories - almanacs were held in big high esteem. Gauf is not going to go against tastes of fashion, and takes and uses it in the purposes.

V. Gauf “Fairy tale under the guise of the Almanac“:
“-... my daughter; who creates good, to that did not stick to despond.... If the adults seduced by Fashion neglect you, address children, - here really my favourites;... only I properly will dress up you that you were pleasant to babies and that adults did not banish you; you know, I will dress up you the almanac“.

For the life the writer managed to prepare three “The almanac of fairy tales“. 1 - y and 2 - y are written under strong influence of fairy tales “Thousands and One Night“ with abundance of the Arab exotic, but gradually Gauf even more often addresses towards the European folklore.

In each almanac there is the “hit“ fairy tale. In 1 - those m are “Small Torments“ and partially “The caliph - a stork“ from where the well-known spell “Mutabor“ went to the people (in popularity conceding only unless “Sim - this“). In 2 - m the collection it, certainly, “the Dwarf - the Nose“, and in 3 - m - “Cold Heart“. However it is worth warning that those who read Gauf`s fairy tales “randomly“ lose a lot of things.

The matter is that “Almanacs“ at the writer not just collections, and the coherent narration. All stories are as if strung on one thread which in itself is separate history. Usually heroes of the “framing“ history are story-tellers - whether it be participants, going on the desert, a caravan, either slaves to the Alexandria sheikh, or lodgers of a tavern in Shpessart.

This reception is, of course, not new - to remember Boccaccio`s “Decameron“ or Shekherezada`s fairy tales enough. But Gauf has heroes telling fairy tales, it is not simple “pass each other a ball“. For example, lodgers of a tavern in Shpessart are involved in adventure with robbers and kidnapping of the countess. This reception (in the option which is cut down, of course) was kept in the Soviet screen version of Gauf “The fairy tale told at night“ 1981 with I. Kostolevsky and A. Kalyagin`s participation.

To keep an intrigue and reliability of a narrative genre, history at Gauf can break on the most interesting place and proceed after other history (as it was with the fairy tale “Cold Heart“). And in the collection “Alexandria Sheikh and His Slaves“, one of story-tellers - slaves unexpectedly appears the son of this sheikh.

The writer weaved even more cunning ligature in the almanac “Karavan“ where the outcome of “The story about the chopped-off hand“ contains not in the story, and in end of the “framing“ history. If to read the story separately, remains unclear - that for the stranger and why forced the doctor to cut off the head to the sleeping girl. And only at the end of the almanac we recognize the stranger in one of participants of a caravan and we listen to its explanations. Besides - this stranger appears the noble robber Orbazan - the hero already of other history - “Fatma`s Rescue“.

Styles are also fancifully bound in Gauf`s almanacs also. If attentively to look narrowly, some stories badly fit into a fairy tale genre. Yes, the history “Fatma`s Rescue“, “Story about the Chopped-off Hand“ or “Young Englishman“ have very unusual plot, but in them there is nothing magic. In “Almansor`s Stories“ even quite real “little corporal“ Napoleon, and “The young Englishman“ (in more close translation - “A monkey in an appearance of the person“) - at all satire over the German burghers who took a disguised monkey for the foreigner and trying to adopt its “manners“ meets.
Expecting a question why so different genres are integrated together, Gauf explains it already in the text.

V. Gauf, from 2 - go “The almanac of fairy tales“:
“-... I think, it is necessary to do the known distinction between the fairy tale and those stories which are usually called short stories.... eventually the charm of the fairy tale and short story results from one main source: we endure something peculiar, unusual. In fairy tales this unusual consists in intervention wonderful and magic in ordinary human life; in short stories everything happens, however, under natural laws, but amazingly unusually.

- Strange, - the copyist exclaimed, - it is strange that the course of nature in short stories attracts us as well as supernatural in fairy tales! In what here business?

- Business here in the image of the certain person, - the old man answered, - in the fairy tale such heap wonderful, the person so acts voluntarily a little that separate images and characters can be depicted only fluently. Other in usual stories, where the most important and attractive - that art with what the speech and acts of everyone, in compliance with its character are transferred“.

Not without reason researchers noted that Hoffman`s innovation and consists that it enriched an old form of the fairy tale with realness of the short story. If at Hoffman wonderful interferes in the habitual world as if from other world and on this contrast all intrigue is under construction, then Gauf has all unusual is entered in a plot quite naturally. Well, there was at the caliph a roll with a spell turning people into animals, well the demonic giant Dutch Michel - why wanders about Chernolesyyu (“Schwarzwald“ is so translated) and is not present?

And on style of a statement of the fairy tale look it is quite realistic. For this purpose also unnecessary subject excesses serve. Why, for example, Said runs from captivity if through the paragraph it is caught again? Yes in order that we felt reality of the narration. Gauf - one of rare writers where similar excesses do not tire and often are not even noticed - so it is live and interestingly written.

Critics quite often point that entertaining - the main credo of fairy tales of Gauf, and the writer does not lift any special moral problems. Really, the morals in itself are quite traditional there - and are close on the simplicity to national fairy tales. But saturated plot, a careful psychological portrayal of heroes, graceful irony serve as seasoning which impacts it unique relish for simple morals of that.

And we believe that even with a heart of stone and a chest of money Peter Munch is capable to make a right choice because he understands that without live human heart from this chest of money of any pleasure. As there is no pleasure from the most high-moral, but boring and fresh fairy tales.

V. Gauf, from 2 - go “The almanac of fairy tales“:
“-... in each person there lives the aspiration to rise over daily occurrence and easier and is more free to soar in celestial spheres, at least in a dream. You, my young friend, told: “We lived in those stories, we thought and felt together with those people“, - from here and that charm which they had for you. Listening to stories of the slave, the fiction which is thought up by another you created together with it. You did not linger on surrounding objects, on usual thoughts, - no, all of you worried: it to you were all miracles, - such part was taken by you in that about whom there was a story. So your mind rose on a story thread over existing, seeming to you not so fine, not so attractive, so your spirit soared is more free and is more free in unknown mountain spheres; the fairy tale became for you a reality, or, perhaps, the reality became the fairy tale because you created and lived in the fairy tale“.