mercredi 12 octobre 2011

Quand les princesses décapitaient leurs grenouilles 3

D´estomper la grenouille contre le mur, comme on le lit dans la version des frères Grimm n´est on le voit qu´une atténuation du geste radical des variantes anglo-écossaises. Or, symptomatiquement, les Grimm vont atténuer encore cette violence dans leur deuxième version du conte qui sera par la suite exclue de leurs rééditions, étant donné la trop grande redondance entre les versions.

“Before she fell asleep she heard something scratching at the door and a voice singing:
Open up! Open up!
Youngest daughter of the king.
Remember that you promised me
While I was sitting in the well,
That you would be my sweetheart dear,
If I would give you water clear.

"Ugh! That's my boyfriend the frog," said the princess. "I promised, so I will have to open the door for him." She got up, opened the door a crack, and went back to bed. The frog hopped after her, then hopped onto her bed where he lay at her feet until the night was over and the morning dawned. Then he jumped down and disappeared out the door.

The next evening, when the princess once more had just gone to bed, he scratched and sang again at the door. The princess let him in, and he again lay at her feet until daylight came. He came again on the third evening, as on the two previous ones. "This is the last time that I'll let you in," said the princess. "It will not happen again in the future." Then the frog jumped under her pillow, and the princess fell asleep. She awoke in the morning, thinking that the frog would hop away once again, but now a beautiful young prince was standing before her. He told her that he had been an enchanted frog and that she had broken the spell by promising to be his sweetheart. Then they both went to the king who gave them his blessing, and they were married”.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Der Froschprinz, Kinder- und Hausmärchen, 1st ed. (Berlin, 1812/1815), v. 2, no. 13

La symbolique violente de l´ab-réaction féminine à l´égard de cette présence bestiale est ici effacée par une symbolique somme toute beaucoup plus sexuelle, celle du partage itératif de la couche nuptiale.

C´est cette version édulcorée (mais ironiquement plus érotisée) du motif de la métamorphose que retiendra le traducteur anglais de l´œuvre, Edgar Taylor, pour le public enfantin victorien.

« And when he had eaten as much as he could, he said, "Now I am tired. Carry me upstairs and put me into your little bed."
And the princess took him up in her hand and put him upon the pillow of her own little bed, where he slept all night long. As soon as it was light he jumped up, hopped downstairs, and went out of the house.

"Now," thought the princess, "he is gone, and I shall be troubled with him no more."
But she was mistaken; for when night came again, she heard the same tapping at the door, and when she opened it, the frog came in and slept upon her pillow as before till the morning broke.

And the third night he did the same; but when the princess awoke on the following morning, she was astonished to see, instead of the frog, a handsome prince gazing on her with the most beautiful eyes that ever were seen, and standing at the head of her bed.

He told her that he had been enchanted by a malicious fairy, who had changed him into the form of a frog, in which he was fated to remain till some princess should take him out of the spring and let him sleep upon her bed for three nights. "You," said the prince, "have broken this cruel charm, and now I have nothing to wish for but that you should go with me into my father's kingdom, where I will marry you, and love you as long as you live."
German Popular Stories, translated [by Edgar Taylor] from the Kinder und Haus Märchen, collected by M. M. Grimm, from Oral Tradition (London: C. Baldwyn, 1823), pp. 205-210.

La place était ouverte pour une sentimentalisation de la métamorphose que l´on retrouve, par exemple chez les frères Colshorn.

“Darkness fell, and after the maiden had awakened from her unconsciousness, she heard the frog outside singing wonderfully sweet melodies. As midnight approached, he sang ever more sweetly, and came closer and closer to her. At midnight the bedroom door opened, and the frog jumped onto her bed. However, he had touched her with his sweet songs, and she took him into bed with her and warmly covered him up.
The next morning when she opened her eyes, behold, the ugly frog was now the handsomest prince in the world. He thanked her with all his heart, saying, "You have redeemed me and are now my wife!" And they lived long and happily together”.
Carl and Theodor Colshorn, Der verwunschene Frosch, Märchen und Sagen (Hannover: Verlag von Carl Rümpler, 1854), no. 42, pp. 139-141

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