Fairy Tales, feminism, and strangeness

A handful of interesting items on fairy tale here. First, a very scholarly but readable and fascinating account of the classic English fairy tale, ‘Mr Fox’ (a Bluebeard variant).

Then, there’s a review, ‘A Dwarf Becomes a Wolf Girl in This Fairy-Tale Novel‘ of a new novel Little Nothing by Marisa Silver; the review title gives the plot away a little. It sounds very interesting–especially, of course, in the light of our ‘Company of Wolves’ research interests at OGOM–and steeped in folkloric tradition and motifs.

Next, an article by Zoe Williams that should feed debate, on how fairy tales can and should be revised to promulgate a feminist message. She starts from the new remake with Emma Watson of Beauty and the Beast, a tale that is a crucial germination point for paranormal romance (watching the trailer, the film promises to be visually stunning). I can’t help feeling Williams’s arguments to be somewhat reductive, though, and prefer the controversial ambiguities of Angela Carter’s set of variations on the theme in The Bloody Chamber.

There’s also a brilliant article, ‘Why we love weird fairy tales’ on the sheer strangeness of fairy tales–from Basile’s seventeenth-century Tale of Tales to Carter and others’ contemporary rewritings. I think this strangeness gets suppressed in Williams’s functional approach. (I have a feeling I’ve posted this before, but it’s very interesting and a pointer to much intriguing reading.)

 

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