JackZipes, in his introduction to this collection, remarks on Gonzenbach's success in collecting these stories, told mainly by women, and the freshness and immediacy of her rendering.
While Zipes points out the differences in Gonzenbach's approach and those of modern folklorists in the field, one must keep in mind that folklore as a discipline was in its infancy in the nineteenth century, without the resources or methodology of the contemporary practitioner.
Zipes notes that it would be a mistake to characterize the collection as subversive or "feminist," but it does illustrate beautifully the subversion of gender roles that begins to make itself known in nineteenth-century European thought.
JackZipes argues that he is also the most misunderstood, an argument that at times is cogent, but just as often seems strained and, in a large sense, seems to me to miss the point.
In regard to Zipes' main point in this chapter, that Andersen never felt that he was recognized enough, or for the right things (he was a playwright, poet and novelist as well as a writer of fairy tales), offhand I can't think of any artist anywhere who feels differently.
The fact that he catered to his audience, which Zipes takes as evidence of deep psychological conflict, is to me no more than any artist has done, unless he was rebellious enough, and good enough, to insist that his audience cater to him, and even then, no one starts off that way.
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