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Grimm's Fairy Tales

Sweet Porridge -

a comparison of the first version (1815)
with the final version (1857)

 
German title (1815): Vom süßen Brei
German title (1857): Der süße Brei
English title: Sweet Porridge
Story position: Volume 2, Number 17
Story designation: KHM 103 ("Kinder- und Hausmärchen")

Quick history: There were seven editions of the Grimm's Fairy Tales published in the Grimm Brothers' lifetime. Each edition was presented in two volumes. Volume 1 of the first edition appeared in 1812; Volume 2 of the first edition appeared in 1815. Both volumes of the seventh (7th) and final edition appeared in 1857.

(Take me directly to the detailed comparison in the original German.)

Here are the nontrivial differences between the first and final versions of Sweet Porridge using the English translation by Margaret Hunt (1884). We disregard spelling, punctuation, and grammar updates, and minor shuffling of words.

In the difference spots, "1:" indicates the first edition (1815), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final edition (1857). Naturally, Hunt worked with the final edition, so all of the words in the common passages and the lines labeled "7:" are hers. Think of the lines labeled "1:" as what she would have produced if she had translated the 1st edition. Highlighted words direct your attention to the added, deleted, or changed wording. Click on "1:" to see the difference spot in the original German.

A highlighted ! indicates an exclamation in the first version that was lost by the final version. Find 3 of them.

 

Sweet Porridge -
showing the significant differences between the first and final versions

THERE was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother, and they no longer had anything to eat. So the child went into the forest, and

1:   therein

7:   there

an aged woman met her who was aware of her sorrow, and presented her with a little pot, which when she said, "Cook, little pot, cook!" would cook good, sweet porridge, and when she said, "Stop, little pot," [1] it ceased to cook. The girl took the pot home to her mother, and now they were freed from their poverty and hunger, and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose. Once on a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, "Cook, little pot, cook!" And it did cook and she ate till she was satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but did not know the word. So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over the edge, and still it cooked on until the kitchen and whole house were full, and then the next house, and then the whole street, just as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, and there was the greatest distress, but no one knew how to stop it. At last when only one single house remained, the child came home and just said, "Stop, little pot!" and it stopped and gave up cooking, and

1:   if they

7:   whosoever

wished to return to the town,

1:   they had to eat their

7:   had to eat his

way back.

 
NOTES:
[1] It would seem the Grimms missed the "!" in the first, "Stop, little pot!"

 

***

To identify the differences, I did a word-by-word comparison of the first and final versions in the original German. I used texts provided on the fine "Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm" site (khm.li). In the comparisons below, as above, "1:" indicates the first version (1815), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final version (1857).

Und nun, auf Deutsch, mit aller Unterschieden zwischen die erste und letzte Ausgaben . . .

 


1: Vom süßen Brei
7: Der süße Brei

Es war einmal ein

1: armes,
7: armes

frommes Mädchen, das lebte mit seiner Mutter

1: allein
7: allein,

und sie hatten nichts mehr zu essen. Da

1: ging
7: gieng

das Kind hinaus in den

1: Wald
7: Wald,

und begegnete ihm

1: darin
7: da

eine alte Frau, die wußte seinen Jammer schon und schenkte ihm ein Töpfchen, zu dem

1: sollt’ es sagen: »Töpfchen koch!«
7: sollt es sagen »Töpfchen, koche,«

so kochte es

1: guten, süßen Hirschenbrei,
7: guten süßen Hirsenbrei,

und wenn es

1: sagte: »Töpfchen
7: sagte »Töpfchen,

steh,« so hörte es wieder auf zu kochen. Das Mädchen brachte den Topf seiner Mutter

1: heim
7: heim,

und nun waren sie ihrer Armuth und ihres Hungers ledig und aßen süßen

1: Brei,
7: Brei

so oft sie wollten. Auf eine Zeit war das Mädchen ausgegangen, da sprach die

1: Mutter: »Töpfchen koch!« da kocht es
7: Mutter »Töpfchen, koche,« da kocht es,

und sie ißt sich satt; nun will

1: sie,
7: sie

daß das Töpfchen wieder aufhören soll, aber sie weiß das Wort nicht. Also kocht es

1: fort
7: fort,

und der Brei steigt über den Rand

1: heraus,
7: hinaus

und kocht immer zu, die Küche und das ganze Haus voll, und das zweite Haus und dann die Straße, als

1: wollt’s
7: wollts

die ganze Welt satt machen, und ist die größte

1: Noth
7: Noth,

und kein Mensch weiß sich da zu helfen. Endlich, wie nur noch ein einziges Haus übrig ist, da kommt das Kind

1: heim und spricht nur: »Töpfchen steh!«
7: heim, und spricht nur »Töpfchen, steh,«

da steht es und hört auf zu

1: kochen, und wenn sie
7: kochen; und wer

wieder in die Stadt

1: wollten, haben sie sich durchessen müssen.
7: wollte, der mußte sich durchessen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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