(7/25/07 1:36 am)
The Red Shoes - Older than Andersen?
I posted a query on this topic a few years ago, and thought I would post again in case anyone has come across something.
In Clarissa Pinkola Estes's <Women Who Run With the Wolves>, she uses the story of the Red Shoes to illustrate one of her case studies/insights. She calls it an 'old woman's teaching tale', variously known as 'The Devil's Dancing Shoes', 'The Red Hot Shoes of the Devil', and 'the Red Shoes', and claims that Andersen 'wrote a story based on this old tale'. The version that she presents is 'a Magyar-Germanic version my Aunt Tereza used to tell', and goes on to present a story with small, significant differences to Andersen's, that change the interpretation.
Now, I've been researching red shoes, and this story for about four years, and I've never come across any other version, or anything remotely similar. There is a pair of red hot iron shoes at the end of the Grimm's Snow White, and the pair of red shoes that Gerda throws into the river in The Snow Queen, written aboout four months earlier than TRS. These are motifs, though, rather than stories.
Andersen could well have heard the story from his grandmother when small - he based a lot of his on these older tales. And of course I can't assume that an oral tale would have found its way to another written form. But CPE's aunt could also have heard the Andersen tale as a child, or in a distorted oral telling. Also, there are many significant elements in TRS that reflect Andersen's own life, experience, and anxieties, rather than it being the archetypal myth that CPE claims.
I will start looking in Hungarian and German, to check this further, but if anyone has heard of, come across, can find a tale with parallels to TRS in a different setting, or older than 1845, I'd love to know about it. Any thoughts on Estes' work also welcome.