If there is one genre that has captured the imagination of people in all walks of life throughout the world, it is the fairy tale. Yet we still have great difficulty understanding how it originated, evolved, and spread--or why so many people cannot resist its appeal, no matter how it changes or what form it takes. In this book, renowned fairy-tale expert Jack Zipes presents a provocative new theory about why fairy tales were created and retold--and why they became such an indelible and infinitely adaptable part of cultures around the world. Drawing on cognitive science, evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology, literary theory, and other fields, Zipes presents a nuanced argument about how fairy tales originated in ancient oral cultures, how they evolved through the rise of literary culture and print, and how, in our own time, they continue to change through their adaptation in an ever-growing variety of media. In making his case, Zipes considers a wide range of fascinating examples, including fairy tales told, collected, and written by women in the nineteenth century; Catherine Breillat's film adaptation of Perrault's "Bluebeard"; and contemporary fairy-tale drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs that critique canonical print versions. While we may never be able to fully explain fairy tales, The Irresistible Fairy Tale provides a powerful theory of how and why they evolved--and why we still use them to make meaning of our lives.
This Oxford companion provides an authoritative reference source for fairy tales, exploring the tales themselves, both ancient and modern, the writers who wrote and reworked them and related topics such as film, art, opera and even advertising.
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to and overview of the life and philosophy of Ernst Bloch. Bloch has had a strange fate in the English-speaking world. He wrote his famous three-volume opus, The Principle of Hope, while living in exile in the United States from 1938 to 1940. It was first published, however, in East Germany in the 1950s after he had returned to Europe and became a professor of philosophy at the University of Leipzig. Gradually, his other numerous works became better known and widespread in Europe and scholars in the US and UK started to take note of his works. Yet, he has still remained a somewhat neglected figure in the humanities. While this book does not set out to entirely rectify this neglect, it does offer readers an introduction to Bloch’s works and the opportunity to understand more about the importance of utopian thought. Through an exploration of some of Bloch’s more controversial communist leanings and relationship to the Soviet Union, a study of Bloch’s utopian quest, and even a comparison with J. R. R. Tolkien, this comprehensive study demonstrates just how interesting a figure Ernst Bloch really was, and how his philosophy of hope has laid the basis for secular humanism.
This book is a journey through the fairy-tale wardrobe, explaining how the mercurial nature of fashion has shaped and transformed the Western fairy-tale tradition. Many of fairy tale’s most iconic images are items of dress: the glass slippers, the red capes, the gowns shining like the sun, and the red shoes. The material cultures from which these items have been conjured reveal the histories of patronage, political intrigue, class privilege, and sexual politics behind the most famous fairy tales. The book not only reveals the sartorial truths behind Cinderella’s lost slippers, but reveals the networks of female power woven into fairy tale itself.
The Fairy Tale World is a definitive volume on this ever-evolving field. The book draws on recent critical attention, contesting romantic ideas about timeless tales of good and evil, and arguing that fairy tales are culturally astute narratives that reflect the historical and material circumstances of the societies in which they are produced. The Fairy Tale World takes a uniquely global perspective and broadens the international, cultural, and critical scope of fairy-tale studies. Throughout the five parts, the volume challenges the previously Eurocentric focus of fairy-tale studies, with contributors looking at: • the contrast between traditional, canonical fairy tales and more modern reinterpretations; • responses to the fairy tale around the world, including works from every continent; • applications of the fairy tale in diverse media, from oral tradition to the commercialized films of Hollywood and Bollywood; • debates concerning the global and local ownership of fairy tales, and the impact the digital age and an exponentially globalized world have on traditional narratives; • the fairy tale as told through art, dance, theatre, fan fiction, and film. This volume brings together a selection of the most respected voices in the field, offering ground-breaking analysis of the fairy tale in relation to ethnicity, colonialism, feminism, disability, sexuality, the environment, and class. An indispensable resource for students and scholars alike, The Fairy Tale World seeks to discover how such a traditional area of literature has remained so enduringly relevant in the modern world.
Rooted in the oral traditions of cultures worldwide, fairy tales have long played an integral part in children's upbringing. Filled with gothic and fantastical elements like monsters, dragons, evil step-parents and fairy godmothers, fairy tales remain important tools for teaching children about themselves, and the dangers and joys of the world around them. In this collection of new essays, literary scholars examine gothic elements in more recent entries into the fairy tale genre--for instance, David Almond's Skellig, Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and Coraline and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events--exploring such themes as surviving incest, and the capture and consumption of children. Although children's literature has seen an increase in reality-based stories that allow children no room for escape from their everyday lives, these essays demonstrate the continuing importance of fairy tales in helping them live well-rounded lives.
Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic studies the impact of fairy tales on contemporary cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective, with special emphasis on how literature and film are retelling classic fairy tales for modern audiences.
From Cinderella to comic con to colonialism and more, this companion provides readers with a comprehensive and current guide to the fantastic, uncanny, and wonderful worlds of the fairy tale across media and cultures. It offers a clear, detailed, and expansive overview of contemporary themes and issues throughout the intersections of the fields of fairy-tale studies, media studies, and cultural studies, addressing, among others, issues of reception, audience cultures, ideology, remediation, and adaptation. Examples and case studies are drawn from a wide range of pertinent disciplines and settings, providing thorough, accessible treatment of central topics and specific media from around the globe.
Sue Short examines how fairy tale tropes have been reworked in contemporary film, identifying familiar themes in a range of genres – including rom coms, crime films and horror – and noting key similarities and differences between the source narratives and their offspring.
Love is a key ingredient in the stereotypical fairy-tale ending in which everyone lives happily ever after. This romantic formula continues to influence contemporary ideas about love and marriage, but it ignores the history of love as an emotion that shapes and is shaped by hierarchies of power including gender, class, education, and social status. This interdisciplinary study questions the idealization of love as the ultimate happy ending by showing how the conteuses, the women writers who dominated the first French fairy-tale vogue in the 1690s, used the fairy-tale genre to critique the power dynamics of courtship and marriage. Their tales do not sit comfortably in the fairy-tale canon as they explore the good, the bad, and the ugly effects of love and marriage on the lives of their heroines. Bronwyn Reddan argues that the conteuses’ scripts for love emphasize the importance of gender in determining the “right” way to love in seventeenth-century France. Their version of fairy-tale love is historical and contingent rather than universal and timeless. This conversation about love compels revision of the happily-ever-after narrative and offers incisive commentary on the gendered scripts for the performance of love in courtship and marriage in seventeenth-century France.
Through the lens of a history of material culture mediated by an object, Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy investigates aspects of women's lives, culture, ideas and the history of the book in early modern Italy. Inside a badly damaged copy of Straparola's 16th-century work, Piacevoli Notti, acquired in a Florentine antique shop in 2010, an inscription is found, attributing ownership to a certain Angelica Baldachini. The discovery sets in motion a series of inquiries, deploying knowledge about calligraphy, orthography, linguistics, dialectology and the socio-psychology of writing, to reveal the person behind the name. Focusing as much on the possible owner as upon the thing owned, Angelica's Book examines the genesis of the Piacevoli Notti and its many editions, including the one in question. The intertwined stories of the book and its owner are set against the backdrop of a Renaissance world, still imperfectly understood, in which literature and reading were subject to regimes of control; and the new information throws aspects of this world into further relief, especially in regard to women's involvement with reading, books and knowledge. The inquiry yields unexpected insights concerning the logic of accidental discovery, the nature of evidence, and the mission of the humanities in a time of global crisis. Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy is a thought-provoking read for any scholar of early modern Europe and its culture.
Monsters are a part of every society, and ours is no exception. They are deeply embedded in our history, our mythos, and our culture. However, treating them as simply a facet of children’s stories or escapist entertainment belittles their importance. When examined closely, we see that monsters have always represented the things we fear: that which is different, which we can’t understand, which is dangerous, which is Other. But in many ways, monsters also represent our growing awareness of ourselves and our changing place in a continually shrinking world. Contemporary portrayals of the monstrous often have less to do with what we fear in others than with what we fear about ourselves, what we fear we might be capable of. The nineteen essays in this volume explore the place and function of the monstrous in a variety of media – stories and novels like Baum’s Oz books or Gibson’s Neuromancer; television series and feature films like The Walking Dead or Edward Scissorhands; and myths and legends like Beowulf and The Loch Ness Monster – in order to provide a closer understanding of not just who we are and who we have been, but also who we believe we can be – for better or worse.
This monograph aims to counter the assumption that the anti-tale is a ‘subversive twin’ or dark side of the fairy tale coin, instead it argues that the anti-tale is a genre rich in complexity and radical potential that fundamentally challenges the damaging ideologies and socializing influence of fairy tales. The Feminist Architecture of Postmodern Anti-Tales: Space, Time and Bodies highlights how anti-tales take up timely debates about revising old structures, opening our minds up to a broader spectrum of experience or ways of viewing the world and its inhabitants. They show us alternative architectures for the future by deconstructing established spatio-temporal laws and structures, as well as limited ideas surrounding the body, and ultimately liberate us from the shackles of a single-minded and simplistic masculine reality currently upheld by dominant social forces and patriarchal fairy tales themselves. It is only when these masculine fairy tales and social architectures are deconstructed that new, more inclusive feminine realities and futures can be brought into being.
Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder
Author: Cristina Bacchilega
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Fairy-tale adaptations are ubiquitous in modern popular culture, but readers and scholars alike may take for granted the many voices and traditions folded into today's tales. In Fairy Tales Transformed?: Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder, accomplished fairy-tale scholar Cristina Bacchilega traces what she terms a "fairy-tale web" of multivocal influences in modern adaptations, asking how tales have been changed by and for the early twenty-first century. Dealing mainly with literary and cinematic adaptations for adults and young adults, Bacchilega investigates the linked and yet divergent social projects these fairy tales imagine, their participation and competition in multiple genre and media systems, and their relation to a politics of wonder that contests a naturalized hierarchy of Euro-American literary fairy tale over folktale and other wonder genres. Bacchilega begins by assessing changes in contemporary understandings and adaptations of the Euro-American fairy tale since the 1970s, and introduces the fairy-tale web as a network of reading and writing practices with a long history shaped by forces of gender politics, capitalism, and colonialism. In the chapters that follow, Bacchilega considers a range of texts, from high profile films like Disney's Enchanted, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, and Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard to literary adaptations like Nalo Hopkinson's Skin Folk, Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch, and Bill Willingham's popular comics series, Fables. She looks at the fairy-tale web from a number of approaches, including adaptation as "activist response" in Chapter 1, as remediation within convergence culture in Chapter 2, and a space of genre mixing in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 connects adaptation with issues of translation and stereotyping to discuss mainstream North American adaptations of The Arabian Nights as "media text" in post-9/11 globalized culture. Bacchilega's epilogue invites scholars to intensify their attention to multimedia fairy-tale traditions and the relationship of folk and fairy tales with other cultures' wonder genres. Scholars of fairy-tale studies will enjoy Bacchilega's significant new study of contemporary adaptations.
Basile's "The Tale of Tales" and Its Afterlife in the Fairy-Tale Tradition
Author: Armando Maggi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Once upon a time, glass slippers, poison apples, evil stepmothers, fairy godmothers, and princes charming exerted a magnetic hold, cast a magic spell, on adults and children alike. Real-life anxieties fostered a need for stories that assuage. But the world changes, and Maggi asks here whether fairy tales have found a way to transform themselves to keep up. He says no, they haven t. The genre of fairy tale has become contaminated, it has been entitized, like processed food, fossilized as Disney-esque icons. We need to rediscover the marvelous, the oneiric trance of dazzling dreams or horrid torments. We need a new mythic lens to help us understand reality, but to chart what that might be, it is necessary to understand the history of the various traditions of oral and written narrative that intersect with each other across time and space. He goes to Giambattista Basile for the Ur fairy tales, with a special focus on the emblematic Cupid and Psyche myth, an anchor for Maggi s wide-ranging investigation of essential variations on fairy tales (with oppositions of beauty/ugly, human/divine, apparent/real). The transformations of later Italian, French, English, and German traditions come to a head with the Brothers Grimm in 19t-century Germany. Maggi brilliantly weaves the traditions into the 20th century, in memoirs such as those by Joan Didion, in postmodern novels such as Robert Coover s, and, in a final manifestation, in the convulsively, bleakly beautiful movie, "Beasts of the Southern Wild." This book offers profound reflections on reading fairy tales, on the inherent human need for narrative-myth (and, ultimately, for hope), showing us why we tell tales and how these stories transform over time. He offers, in an appendix, the first translation of the original Grimm edition of Basile s 50 tales."