April 22, 2009

Annie M.G. Schmidt fairytale collection at DBNL.org

Filed under: Art,Literature by Branko Collin @ 2:34 pm

When I was a wee lad, one of my favourite fairytale books was Heksen en zo (Witches and such) by Annie M.G. Schmidt, and to my great joy and surprise I ran into the whole collection at the DBNL website. DBNL is a sort of Project Gutenberg, but they apparently have a good rapport with authors’ estates, because they manage to present in-copyright works by significant Dutch authors for free to a web audience.

This version of Heksen en zo is illustrated by Charlotte Dematons. The one we had at home was illustrated by the inimitable Carl Hollander, who also graced the works of Paul Biegel and Astrid Lindgren with his drawings.

There once was a king who was so rich that he had oysters for tea and fed real pearls to his pigs every day. When he drove by in his black carriage with golden wheels, the people bowed deep into the dust.

Sometimes a child said: “But he hasn’t got a nice face, mother.” This would startle the mother and she would whisper: “Shush, you are not allowed to say that.”

“Why not?” the child asked. “Can the king hear us?”

“No,” the mother said. “But the king has a marshal who keeps an ear to the ground.”

And this was so. The king had a marshal who could unscrew his left ear. When nobody was watching he would lay the ear between some shrubs near the window of a house. Then he would go away and leave his ear behind.


(From: De maarschalk die zijn oor te luisteren legde, Heksen en Zo, Annie M.G. Schmidt.)

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May 29, 2008

Christians get knickers in a twist over cereal advert

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 12:56 pm

In Veenendaal, part of the Dutch bible belt, the local chapter of the SGP is “shocked,” “insulted,” and “hurt” over an ad for cereal which depicts a famous scene from the Old Testament, reports RTV Utrecht (Dutch). The Kellogg’s advert that so outraged the conservative Protestant party displays a prudishly covered Eve amidst a sea of apples, watched by a snake, and under a banner which reads “Meer fruit dan vroeger” (more fruit than before).

The SGP, known mostly for its extreme misogynist stance for which it undoubtedly borrowed heavily from the Old Testament’s Garden of Eden myth, has asked the city’s executive to condemn the campaign to Kellogg’s, which must be rubbing its corporate paws in glee for such a predictive gift of free advertising.

The manufacturer’s campaign features a second ad which also depicts a scene from a fairy tale (Snow White, to be precise), but as far as I know no one has protested that one.

Via Geen Commentaar (Dutch).

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March 2, 2008

Buy a bankrupt theme park’s attractions online

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:11 pm

Photo by Tuppus, some rights reserved.

Fairy tale theme park Land van Ooit (Land of Someday) has gone bankrupt, and its attractions will be sold during an online auction on Monday. Located in Noord-Brabant near Drunen, Land van Ooit pretended to be a country where visiting children were considered to be knights and knightesses. The park originally employed a lot of actors to make the theme come alive, but in later days when visitor numbers dwindled it resorted to fast rides to attract customers.

Online auction house Troostwijk will start receiving bids on Monday. The auction closes March 10. Troostwijk fear that a lot of people will use the viewing days (March 8 and 9) for a day out to a theme park. “Children will only be allowed in under supervision, and the rides may not be used,” according to Troostwijk’s Karel van Schoonevelt in DagjeWeg (Dutch). “There is a lot of interest in this auction,” he added. “It rarely happens that a theme park goes bankrupt.” The company will also charge an entrance fee of 2.50 euro.

Among the artefacts being auctioned are giants, giant furniture, dolls, the electronics to make it all come alive, lots of actual furniture, and so on.

Auction 1: Playground and catering equipment
Auction 2: Costumes and clothing accessories
Auction 3: Amusement park various

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