Me Grimms and Melancholies*
In which Professor Pennywhistle retells folks and fairies of old, in all the gory, severe innocence of the originals, but with tongue fully in cheek. Or rather, with both tongues in cheek. Or rather, with tongue lolling and bloody through cheek, like a sideways Columbian necktie, which is not an image that will be included in the book. Pinky promise.
Some of the tales will be new, but which (and whether they be folk or fairy) is still undecided, as the Professor has yet to write them. But he will keep you apprised.
The principle here is that too often such tales are drained of all their narrative power, which is to say they are whitewashed of their protestant superstition and hellfire, which is to say that they provide only the merest of goosebumps instead of scaring the be-whatsit out of a child, which is what they should do.
*The conceit of the title (because the title is conceited, vain thing!), is as follows:
“Me” is used here as the possessive pronoun, popular among the stolid lower classes in English society in phrases such as, “Martha! Fetch me me trousers so I can meet me mates at me favourite pub!” or “Pass me me jam butty!” or “Who et me fish ‘n’ chips?” etc.
“Grimms” refers, of course, to the tales collected by the famous brothers of the fortuitous surname, but here metonymizes the tales with said handle. That is, it uses the last name “Grimm” in the plural to refer not to the persons, but the tales themselves.
“Megrims” are depressive spirits, known musically as the blues, and medically as “migraines,” which are what you get after labouring through these notes.
“Melancholies” (pronounced “melon collies,” but not nearly as delicious) are the same, which is redundant, except that instead of migraines, the symptom that betrays this particular brand of low feeling is an abundance of black bile, which is why your mother passes you a tissue and thumps your back whenever you are melancholic (you poor baby!). She might even try to spoon feed you lemon juice or gripe water, which transforms bile into rather wet complaints.
In short, it is not a good idea to read Me Grimms and Melancholies while operating a motor vehicle, hosting a party, or getting ready for a wedding. If, however, you are on your way to a funeral for someone you didn’t know very well and therefore don’t particularly miss, Me Grimms is just right for you. You’ll look like very death in no time.