The brothers grimm

The first fairy stories were never intended for children

Stories are fundamental to humanity and no one can guess how far back they go — long before they were first recorded, no doubt. As Thomas Mann says at the beginning of Joseph and his Brothers: The further down into the lower world of the past we probe and press, the more do we find that the earliest foundations of humanity, its history and culture, reveal themselves unfathomable. The existence in different cultures and remote places of tales similar to Cinderella, for instance, suggests ur-stories, common ancestors millennia old. There is no accessing those original folk tales. All we can say is that they were already very deep-rooted when they