Lisa Goldstein's The Uncertain Places: Grimm fairytale in California vibrates with believable unreality


6 Responses to “Lisa Goldstein's The Uncertain Places: Grimm fairytale in California vibrates with believable unreality”

  1. Anonymous says:

    As an undergrad at Berkeley during the 1960′s, I remember Prof. Paul Feyerabend – see

    I wonder if he is the inspiration for the name of the wine growers in The Uncertain Places, since that is not exactly a common name, and he was a very influential figure on campus.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If this turns out to be a West Coast version of Little, Big, I’m going to be very happy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All these comments are thought provoking, so far… so thanks, all of you. I think the grimmness of most actual authentic fairy tales reflects life, then again, you might not want to meet my parents or siblings in a dark forest, at night.

  4. Roy Trumbull says:

    The original Grimm stories were pretty harsh but truer to life.
    “Grandmother, what big teeth you have!””All the better to eat you with!” -End of story
    In Snow White the evil queen is made to put on red hot steel slippers and dance herself to death.
    Rapunzel is pg by the prince and gives birth to twins.
    In Cinderella the stepsisters have their eyes put out by thorns.
    Time to undo the damage done by the redactors and make a gritty flick.

  5. Amelia_G says:

    “Feierabend,” awesome choice for the name. Is there a wolf family named “Mahlzeit”?

  6. alllie says:

    “human nobility”? In the Brothers Grimm tales? In which tale? Where Hansel and Gretal’s parents leave them in the forest to starve? Or maybe Cinderella where Cinderella’s father (not dead in the Grimm version) allows his new wife and step daughters to make his daughter into a kitchen mail and when he goes on a trip brings them back beautiful dresses and jewels, and her a twig. Or maybe Rumpelstiltskin where a father tries to get his daughter a rich husband by telling the king she can spin straw into gold. The king accepts her because he is greedy but threatens to kill her if she can’t do as her father claimed. And the girl makes a deal to give her first baby to a demon in exchange for his help.

    It has been a while since I’ve read all of the Grimm’s tales but I can’t remember human nobility in any of them. Human greed? Plenty. Human cruelty? Yes. Human frailty? Totally. But I can’t remember human nobility.

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