Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies




Скачать 362.72 Kb.
НазваниеMasaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies
страница3/14
Дата06.01.2013
Размер362.72 Kb.
ТипДокументы
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   14

4. Fairy tale


The term fairy tale seems to be somewhat problematic. When trying to define its meaning, there are several difficulties to be faced. J. R. R. Tolkien in his study called “On Fairy-Stories,” and Angela Carter in her The Virago Book of Fairy Tales both agree that fairy tales, in fact, often do not involve any fairies at all. Some of the authors therefore tried to coin a new term to replace the problematic fairy tale, and used terms like folk tale (Italo Calvino) or wonder tale (Marina Warner).

Susan Sellers presents Jack Zipes´ view that the English term fairy tale is, in fact, “a misnomer since it derives from the translation of the published literary tales of Paris salons in the seventeenth century and is then transferred to all subsequent stories, including the oral folk tales.”21

This work, however, will not offer a detailed overview of the development of the term fairy tale as this is not the subject of the study. And so, for our purposes, the brief definiton from the internet encyclopedia will be fully sufficient. According to Wikipedia, a fairy tale is a sub-class of the folktale. It is “a story featuring folkloric characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, talking animals and others.”22 Typically, fairy tales involve royalty and tend to end happily. They usually do not contain more than superficial references to actual places, persons and events.

Fairy tale is the genre that is popularly associated with children´s literature, even though it has not always been so. It only came to be associated with this particular category in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, since fairy tales were originally intended for adults just as well as for children. Moreover, “fairy tales often contained multiple lessons and meanings, many of which were not intended to teach children.”23

Kay Stone deals with the development of fairy tales and with their shift towards the children readership in his essay called “Marchen to Fairy Tale: An Unmagical Transformation.” According to Stone, “fairy tales are now considered primarily as stories for children, but this was not always so-and in places where the stories are still told without the aid of books, it is still not so.”24He claims that within the oral cultures storytelling is still an important part of everyday life, however for western, urbanized adults these tales have lost much of their meaning because of the development of other sources of entertainment.”25According to Stone, the chief factors that lead to the decrease of the importance of the fairy tales and storytelling within families is the disappearance of the special evening time when the lighting was still poor and people passed their time telling stories; the increased literacy and wide availability of books; and recently the widespread of mass media. As a result, the tales began to be read to children by adults and fairy tales moved into the children´s domain.

Fairy tales as a part of literature intended primarily for children have lost much of their original harshness and coarseness. Anything that might have seemed too cruel or too violent was removed and the stories were adapted to the supposedly innocent mind of children. To make the stories widely acceptable, death, brutality and other parts seen as too disturbing for children mind were removed or replaced. Romance seems to be the main motif of many adapted fairy tales, which as a result become too sentimental and melodramatic. Stone then remarks: “One wonders whom we are trying to protect in downplaying the violence and fantasy and emphasizing the happiness and romance of these fairy tales.”26 He further observes that modern children books rarely deal with the theme of sex or death and points out that this is rather unnatural and unnecessary, as “the needs and interests of children are as individualistic as those of adults, and no pronouncement from above is appropriate at all.”27

Angela Carter in the preface to her The Virago Book of Fairy Tales also points out the change in the fairy tales and its shift towards certain unnaturalness and uniformity. She says that “the excision of references to sexual and excremental functions, the toning down of sexual situations (...) helped to denaturize the fairy tale and, indeed, helped to denaturize its vision of everyday life.”28 She ascribes the main changes in the fairy tales to the nineteenth century collectors. She says that the collectors and editors often “improved” the stories, editing them, collating, putting two texts together to create a better one, and removing ´coarse´ expressions from the texts was a common practice.

In the introduction to her collection of fairy tales Carter says that most of the stories “do not exist in only and the one form but in many different versions” 29 She also points out the fact that fairy tales do not have authors which is quite exceptional for us, as we are highly individual culture with great emphasis on originality and authorship. We do not know and will never be able to find out who actually invented this or that story, we only know the name of a collector and sometimes possibly the name of the person who narrated the story. Thus the changes made by the collectors and editors are crucial for our perception of fairy tales.

Carter deals with the collecting and rewriting of the fairy tales. She starts with the well known fact that “for most human history, ´literature´, both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written-heard, not read”30 and that the world folklore itself was not coined until 1846, replacing the terms popular literature and popular antiquities that were in frequent use earlier on. She then continues and says that “the great impulse towards collecting oral material in the nineteenth century came out of the growth of nationalism and the concept of the nation-state with its own, exclusive culture.”31 This gave rise to the collecting of folktales throughout Europe, for example, in Germany-the famous brothers Ludwig and Wilhelm Carl Grimms; or in Norway-Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe. Carter then concludes her brief overview of the history of Europe´s story collecting by saying: “For last two or three hundred years, fairy stories and folk tales have been recorded for their own sakes, cherished for a wide variety of reason, from antiquarianism to ideology. Writing them down – and especially printing them – both preserves, and inexorably changes, these stories.”32


1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   14

Похожие:

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconDepartment of English and American Studies

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconDepartment of English and American Studies

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconDepartment of English and American Studies

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconSixty-six fundamental interpretive studies, chosen by osu faculty in American History to 1877, June, 2003

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconGeological Engineering Department The Geology chair was, first, estabilished within the Department of Natural Science in Faculty of Science of Ege University, on October 4, 1961

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconFaculty of health, psychology and social care department of continuing professional development and postgraduate studies

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconBalikesir university faculty of science and literature department of chemistry

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconDepartment of english university college dublin

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies iconÇukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Engineering, tr-01330 Adana Turkey

Masaryk university in brno faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies icon© 1993. Patrick J. Boylan, Department of Arts Policy and Management, City University, Frobisher Crescent, Barbican, London ec2Y 8HB

Разместите кнопку на своём сайте:
Библиотека


База данных защищена авторским правом ©lib.znate.ru 2014
обратиться к администрации
Библиотека
Главная страница