Rapunzel

By Paul Zelinsky; Jacob W. Grimm; Wilhelm Grimm
(Dutton Books, Hardcover, 9780525456070, 48pp.)

Publication Date: October 1997

List Price: $17.99*
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Description
Surely among the most original and gifted of children's book illustrators, Paul O. Zelinsky has once again with unmatched emotional authority, control of space, and narrativecapability brought forth a unique vision for an age-old tale. Few artists at work today can touch the level at which his paintings tell a story and exert their hold.

Zelinsky's retelling of Rapunzel reaches back beyond the Grimms to a late-seventeenth-century French tale by Mlle. la Force, who based hers on the Neapolitan tale Petrosinella in a collection popular at the time. The artist understands the story's fundamentals to be about possessiveness, confinement, and separation, rather than about punishment and deprivation. Thus the tower the sorceress gives Rapunzel here is not a desolate, barren structure of denial but one of esoteric beauty on the outside and physical luxury within. And the world the artist creates through the elements in his paintings the palette, control of light, landscape, characters, architecture, interiors, costumes speaks to us not of an ugly witch who cruelly imprisons a beautiful young girl, but of a mother figure who powerfully resists her child's inevitable growth, and of a young woman and man who must struggle in the wilderness for the self-reliance that is the true beginningof their adulthood.

As ever, and yet always somehow in newly arresting fashion, Paul O. Zelinsky's work thrillingly shows us the events of the story while guiding us beyond them to the truths that have made it endure.




About the Author
Paul O. Zelinsky is one of the most original and celebrated children's book illustrators at work today.



Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) studied law in the early 1800s but became much better known as an accomplished and passionate storyteller and, with his brother Jacob, one of the Grimm Brothers, who gave the world the groundbreaking and fantastic collection of folklore, fairy stories, and fantasy tales we now call Grimm's Fairy Tales.
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