A collection of radical political fairy tales-some in English for
the first time-from one of the great female practitioners of the
genre Hermynia Zur Muhlen (1883-1951), one of the twentieth
century's great political writers, was not seemingly destined for a
revolutionary, unconventional literary career. Born in Vienna to an
aristocratic Catholic family, Zur Muhlen married an Estonian count.
But she rebelled, leaving her upper-class life to be with the
Hungarian writer and Communist Stefan Klein, and supporting herself
through translations and publications. Altogether, Zur Muhlen wrote
thirty novels, mysteries, and story collections, and translated
around 150 works, including those of Upton Sinclair, John
Galsworthy, and Edna Ferber. A wonderful new addition to the Oddly
Modern Fairy Tales series, The Castle of Truth and Other
Revolutionary Tales presents English readers with a selection of
Zur Muhlen's best political fairy tales, some translated from
German for the first time. In contrast to the classical tales of
the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, Zur Muhlen's
candid, forthright stories focus on social justice and the plight
of the working class, with innovative plots intended to raise the
political consciousness of readers young and old. For example, in
"The Glasses," readers are encouraged to rip off the glasses that
deceive them, while in "The Carriage Horse," horses organize a
union to resist their working and living conditions. In "The
Broom," a young worker learns how to sweep away injustice. With an
informative introduction by Jack Zipes and period illustrations by
George Grosz, John Heartfield, Heinrich Vogeler, and Karl Holtz,
The Castle of Truth and Other Revolutionary Tales revives the
legacy of a notable female artist whose literary and political work
remains relevant in our own time.
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