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In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

This chapter conducts a historical overview of Galician literature for children and young adults, analysing the most representative works from each of the different established periods of Galician literature in different ways. The concepts of ‘rewriting’, ‘versions’, and ‘adaptations’ will be taken into account, as well as Genette’s distinction between types of transtextuality and their uses as defined by Valriu. This paper looks at how the roles of the characters change, how the stereotypes of witches, fairies, princesses, and others are modified, and how contexts are modernized for different purposes such as provoking a parodic effect, subverting and/or humanising the characters, or instilling certain values or ideologies in young readers. In this way, this paper offers a general overview of the mark that fairy tales have left on Galician literature for children and young adults, and the influence and vitality that they have as a source of recreation, subversion, and deconstruction for writers of children’s and young adult literature.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze several fairy-tale motifs in the fantasy stories of Mary Poppins, especially to examine several attributes of the magic helper, one of the essential figures of fairy and fantasy stories, in Mary Poppins’s character. Fantasy literature has adopted and altered the fairy-tale formulae. Accordingly, for example, (supernatural) characters (crones, fairies, goblins, dragons), the presence of magic (flying, spell) and magic objects (invisibility cloak or ring, wand), which are considered essential in fantasy literary works, are all derived from the world of fairy tales. The Mary Poppins books, as examples of this mode, reflect the fairy-tale pattern in many ways. In the same way, I argue that considering Mary Poppins’s role in the Banks family, she can be decoded as the (universal) magic helper. However, Mary Poppins is an unconventional, subversive helper regarding her outward appearance, personality, magic aid and attitude toward her protégés, the Banks children (particularly, Jane and Michael). The subversive magic helper acquaints Jane and Michael Banks with the fairy world: she introduces to them characters (crones), magic (act of flying, talking animals) and so forth. Jane and Michael’s physical (external) and psychological (internal) journeys fascinate, influence and teach them at the same time.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

The classic book Croatian Tales of Long Ago written by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in 1916 that contains eight fairy tales is one of the most popular examples of fantasy in Croatian literature. From the very first edition, the stories have attracted the attention of young readers and sophisticated literary critics. The clearest signs that Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić was recognised as a distinguished author were her nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature and translations of her works to numerous foreign languages. Contemporary literary critics have noticed the influence of traditional oral storytelling, which was broadly present in Croatian rural families at the beginning of the twentieth century. Literary analysis of the mythical creatures and fantasy motives represented in the Tales has identified several elements from the contemporary academic tradition and Slavic studies. This chapter examines the transtextual aspects of Croatian Tales of Long Ago including the published Slavic studies. The author of the Tales was highly educated and used her large family library, where she had the opportunity to find numerous classic titles from this field. Thus, I argue that those scientific works are intertextually present in her tales more than traditional oral storytelling.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic
In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

The adaptability of stories helps ensure their survival in the popular consciousness and fairy tales in particular exhibit this characteristic. The numerous retellings, reinterpretations and recreations of these beloved tales ensure that they endure to enchant a new generation. One such fairy tale which continues to lend itself to adaptation is J.M. Barrie’s elusive creation, Peter Pan. Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins’s graphic novel, Peter Panzerfaust (2012–2017), is one of the most recent retellings of this beloved tale, and forms the focus of this chapter. In this story, Peter is removed from the fantasy of make-believe and transposed onto the realistic historical setting of wwii. I consider various instances throughout the graphic novel that have appropriated Barrie’s elements from the Peter Pan story and reinterpreted and recreated these elements to suit not only the historical wartime milieu, but also the graphic novel as new medium. Hutcheon’s adaptation theory and how adaptations are a form of palimpsest will form the basis for interpreting the interplay between the Peter Pan story and the graphic novel through the analysis of features such as dialogue and imagery (particularly that of Peter Pan) thereby showing that through this process of recreation and reinterpretation of the original text, this graphic novel can be seen as a successful adaptation.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

Dolores Redondo’s Baztan Trilogy (2012–2014) proved a great publishing success. Its main character, Amaia Salazar, is a tough detective who has trained with the fbi and represents the advancements in scientific research. While she is the quintessence of a modern detective, at the same time she embodies the role of ancestral Basque women as the voices of the past and preservers of a rich tradition of folk tales. During her investigation, in fact, the creatures of these tales take over the narrative, and the past of the region returns to haunt contemporary Spain. This chapter will explore the trilogy’s generic hybridity, contending that it is both a detective novel and a contemporary fairy tale. Rewriting elements such as the breadcrumb trail, the red shoes, the cannibalistic witch, the three sisters or the fairy godmothers, Redondo’s detective fairy tale gives expression to the uncanny, to the threats that lurk in the forest. Generic hybridity will then add to the atmosphere and the tension of the thriller. Moreover, the fairy tale narrative will also provide a deeper reading of the connection between Amaia’s present and her own past. Finally, by briefly comparing the first novel with its film adaptation, this chapter will discuss how fairy tale tropes became an essential element to translate the written text into images.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

This chapter explores the construction, repetition and dissemination of idealized femininity in popular fairy tales and how, in contemporary visual re-workings, these conventions are being challenged. Philosopher Judith Butler’s theories of gender construction and performance underpin my analysis of how gender, as a series of acts and physical states, is constituted in fairy tales. The archetypal heroine of fairy-tale fame is constructed according to a perceived social consensus of ideal femininity—she must be pretty, pure, obedient, youthful and morally sound—a model repeated through a number of tales. The artworks analyzed in this chapter, by Cornelia Parker, Carrie Mae Weems and Gérard Rancinan, show how subversive repetition can serve to interrupt, challenge, transgress and even reverse conventional expectations of femininity. The application of Butler’s theories to the fairy-tale genre, and their visual reiterations, reveals the potential to change perceptions of gender through subversive repetition. It is this subversive repeat, a mis-repetition, which allows for the possibility of change that will be examined here.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

By the end of the twentieth century, feminist and postmodern criticism had bolstered a literary outburst that presented a challenge to the fairy-tale tradition. A wave of fictional re-writings emerged to address an adult audience with challenging plots and innovative ideas. In 1997, acclaimed Irish writer Emma Donoghue published her first story collection Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins, a re-writing of thirteen classic tales from Andersen, Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Its singularity did not go unnoticed and the book was shortlisted for a James Tiptree Award and named an ala Popular Paperback for Young Adults. Donoghue’s stories offer alternative possibilities of female emancipation that reach beyond the boundaries of traditional folk plots. Her female characters subvert the canon, bringing to the fore issues hitherto alien to the fairy-tale universe. Accordingly, literary innovations both transcend content and affect form. Narrated in the first person, the stories are interlinked through the use of a recurring ploy that introduces each new tale. This device serves to unify the selected stories and suggests both a collective plot of oppression inherent in the folk tale pattern, and an uncharted tradition of female rebellion, transformation, and success.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

Scurrying in and out of sight, mice and rats have been part of fairy tales for quite a long time. From Aesop to Mickey Mouse as well as Tom and Jerry, whether living in a town or country house, running up or down the clock, these small, almost insignificant creatures have been protagonists and helpers (Propp 105–106) in many of the stories we have read and seen in books through illustrations and on screen. These rodents have helped human protagonists in their struggle to overcome evil and find long-lasting bliss. Among our selection as child readers, we have chosen (and still choose) books about dragons, treasures, trolls, gnomes, princes and princesses, but mice do not seem to be, in general, our first choice. And yet, mice and rats abound in Children’s Literature being quite often relegated to the role of secondary characters. This paper will review some of these old, loved fairy tales to analyze how the role of rodents has varied across time and format, jumping and climbing from the printed page onto the audiovisual media, to answer the question: are mice still among our apparently invisible, tiny fairy tale characters that are less likely to be cast in main heroic roles after all?

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic