fairy tales

Cesar cordero 

English 1101

Fairy tales 

Tatar, Maria.  The Annotated Brothers Grimm.  New York: W.W. Norton and Company,Inc, 2004.  Print

The Annotated Brothers Grimm is actually a rare example of a complete and relevant title-this work is a collection of Fairy Tales collected by the Brothers Grimm,kept in their (at least mostly) original form instead of attempting to modernize them.  For instance, in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl is naïve and is eaten by the wolf, then released when the huntsman takes scissors and slices the wolf’s belly open, filling it with stones. Each of the stories has a number of annotations, numbered according to the quality of the tale, which details differences in portrayals, and potential meanings behind these variations.  An excellent start to the study of Fairy Tales, as they are the rough originals.

Klima, John.  Happily Ever After.  New York City: Night Shade Books, 2011.  Print.

Happily Ever After is a collection of retold Fairy Tales, including story form (such as My Life as  Bird by Charles de Lint, He Dies that Day, In Thirty Years by Will McCarthy, and The Rose Garden by Michelle West), and a dramatic script (in Gregory Maguire’s “The Seven Stage Comeback,” a 1 Act play with 6 Scenes).  Included before each story is a brief annotation about the authors in question, which grants minor details about prior works (such as Gregory Maguire’s work on the book Wicked, now a Broadway Musical, which details the life and times of Elphaba, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West).  A good read for fun, and an excellent record of modernized Fairy Tales.

Nayar, Pramod K.  “The Sense of Horror; Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’”.  Notes on Contemporary Literature 38.1 (2008): 4.  Students Resources in Context.  Web.

This is an article written by a professor employed at the University of Hyderabad in India focusing on The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.  This is an excellent example of academic essays written on the subject, as well as the simple scope of distance that the structure of Fairy Tales has spread, despite the “traditional stomping grounds” of Europe that claim this structure.  In these, he writes on the stimulation of horror, or fear, that is created, “not by appealing to the reader’s intellect by rather by stimulating bodily sensations in terms of colour, temperature, and haptic (sense of touch) conditions.” It is an examination in detail of that horror, and of the exact effects upon the reader.  This is an excellent source when searching for the direct form of influence between reader and book in modern Fairy Tales.

Talor, Patricia R.  “Criminal Appropriations of Shakespeare in Jasper Fforde’s Something Rotten.”  College Literature 37.4 (fall 2010): pg 23.  Print.

This is a critical essay written on the subject of a book written by Jasper Fforde entitled Something Rotten, which is a parody of Shakespeare’s work.  Fforde writes many parodies, with examples listed in the text (including The Eyre Affairin 2001, Lost in a Good Book in 2002, The Well of Lost Plots in 2003, Something Rotten in 2004, and First Among Sequels in 2007); these books employ many of Shakespeare’s characters in appropriation in ‘displays of destructive power; for example police incarcerate actors for poorly performing Twelfth Night…’  This essay argues that violent appropriations can be constructive rather than oppressive.  A reliable source for the journal in which it appears, which is the triennially published College Literature Journal, though this essay can also serve in the act of examining differences of perspectives regarding venerable Shakespeare, and the comedic side of Fairy Tales in remembering one thing-many such tales were written as counterpoints to major or venerated subjects.

Hume, Kathryn.  “Voice in Kathy Acker’s Fiction” Contemporary Literature.  Volume 42 issue 3 (2001) pages 485-513.  Print.

This is an article describing the use of voice in the fiction of Kathy Acker, voice being defined as “a combination of verbal flavor, attitude, and subject matter designed to display the attitude and encourage it in readers.  Voice in this sense resembles the orchestration and preferred tonalities that lets one identify a couple measures of Tchaikovsky from the Russian intervals…The voice in Acker’s fiction is similarly individual to her, and paying attention to it helps uncover her assumptions about character and understanding what she is reacting against.”  This article is meticulously detailed, and as such is a solid source for the identification of individual styles, an integral part of understanding Fairy Tales and fiction, which Kathy Acker writes. Cashdan, Sheldon.                                                                                                            

The Witch Must Die:  The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales.  New York City: BasicBooks, 2000.  Print.

This book was written by a professional psychologist, as an in-depth examination of the “classic” mentality of the most prominent audience of fairy tales- children.  As such, it has many parts that have reference to the psychology of children, and the application of these stories to those children. It is worth noting, though, that Cashdan did commit one failure-the assumption that these tales were always meant for children, which did not happen until roughly the Victorian Age, several hundred years after their creation.  The originals were folk and morality tales enhanced by the upper class and collected by scholars for that upper class, and as such one must remember this pitfall. That aside, it is a good look at the formulaic mindset behind their examination- apply story X to child Y for condition Z and the child is fixed, which has some merits, though it is not the be-all and end-all of the stories.

Tatar, Maria.  The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm.  New York: W.W. Norton and Company,Inc, 2004.  Print

This is a book written by the chair of the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, and as such is as close to a scholastic source as you will get to the ideals.  This book has in it annotations and a preface to provide readers with the historical and cultural context to understand what these stores meant and their contemporary resonance. The book includes some of the more famous stories in world literature, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and other stories less known, such as The Seven Ravens

Maguire,Gregory.  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.  New York City: Harper Collins, 1995.  Print.

Wicked, written by Gregory Maguire, is a good example of another phenomenon regarding Fairy Tales.  Normally, Fairy Tales are read as short bedtime stories, ending in less than 10 pages, but since the books have become popular and public libraries almost common in cities, the tales have been lengthened to become true novels.  Wicked focuses on the life of Elphaba, known to the world at large as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (which by itself is a wonderfully structured Fairy Tale), and in particular it is an examination of that society through the eyes of a cynic, providing the views of realism to such a story.  For example, in the beginning of the book, when Elphaba is born, people react with revulsion and shock to her skin color, despite the relative oddity (to the reader in the real world) of having talking animals.  A good look at the effects of reality in Fairy Tales, and the lengthening of those stories.

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