Answering today's problems with yesterday's fairy tales

Jack Zipes
Jack Zipes, professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, and founder of the independent press Little Mole and Honey Bear.
Euan Kerr | MPR News 2016

Jack Zipes considers himself a “cultural excavator.” He thinks that answers to the major cultural and political quandaries of today can be found in the fairy tales of the past, and he’s committed to digging those stories up.

In order to publish more of the stories he’s “unburied,” the celebrated professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota founded the small, independent press Little Mole and Honey Bear.

Zipes admitted to host Cathy Wurzer that he’s been losing money on the press, but he’s still excited that he can finally publish more of his discoveries every year.

“For me, it’s been a great love affair and learning affair,” Zipes said.

Zipes and Wurzer explored why fairytales were originally written for adults, the kinds of messages embedded in the fairy tales of the past and why the Brothers Grimm may have been more enlightened than Walt Disney.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

Subscribe to the Minnesota Now podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.