The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre

The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre

By: Jack Zipes (author)Paperback

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Description

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.

About Author

Jack Zipes is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota and the author, translator, and editor of dozens of studies and collections of folk and fairy tales. His recent books include Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre, Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children's Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling, and The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films.

Contents

List of Illustrations ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xvii Chapter 1: The Cultural Evolution of Storytelling and Fairy Tales: Human Communication and Memetics 1 Chapter 2: The Meaning of Fairy Tale within the Evolution of Culture 21 Chapter 3: Remaking "Bluebeard," or Good-bye to Perrault 41 Chapter 4: Witch as Fairy/Fairy as Witch: Unfathomable Baba Yagas 55 Chapter 5: The Tales of Innocent Persecuted Heroines and Their Neglected Female Storytellers and Collectors 80 Chapter 6: Giuseppe Pitre and the Great Collectors of Folk Tales in the Nineteenth Century 109 Chapter 7: Fairy-Tale Collisions, or the Explosion of a Genre 135 Appendix A: Sensationalist Scholarship: A "New" History of Fairy Tales 157 Appendix B: Reductionist Scholarship: A "New" Definition of the Fairy Tale 175 Notes 191 Bibliography 209 Index 227

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691159553
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780691159553
  • weight: 397
  • ISBN10: 0691159556
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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