Feminist Fairy-Tale Scholarship A Critical Survey and Bibliography.pdf

And authoritative illustration of gilberts theory

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and authoritative illustration of Gilbert's theory, which is otherwise founded on an essentializing psychological understanding of the story Heinz Rölleke, in his own essay on women in Grimms' fairy tales, advised feminist readers of Grimms' tales against making generalized claims that were not based on rigorous studies ofa tale's textual history ("Die Frau"). Rölleke's approach to the question of gender in the Kinder- und Hausmärchen takes into account the Grimms' attitude toward women,18 the sources of their tales, and the general representation of women in the collection, all of which tend to mitigate, according to Rölleke, the feminist critique of the stories. Like his other research on the textual provenance and sources of Grimms' collection, Rölleke's essay on women helps to focus attention on the fact that females were among the most important of Grimms' informants and werethe source for many of their important tales. Moreover, in identifying these female informants as largely young educated women of the bourgeoisie, Rölleke helped to further demythologize the stereotype of the Märchenfrau. Much later, in 1993, Maureen Thum followed Rölleke's lead by arguing that a discriminating analysis ofGrimms' stories in light of their informants gives us a much more complex view of female stereotypes in their collection. Thum argued that although tales contributed by Marie Hassenpflug, Dorothea Wild, and Friedrich Krause depict women with considerable differentiation, stories contributed by Dorothea Viehmann (the Grimms' ideal storyteller) portray positive female characters that resist the expected stereotype. Applying Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of "heteroglossia," Thum consequently confirmed the mul- tiplicity ofvoices - including female voices - in the Kinder- und Hausmärchen and underlined, as had Bottigheimer earlier, the relative complexity of Grimms' women.19 In terms of feminist fairy-tale scholarship, then, research based on the textual and editorial history of Grimms' tales has had far-reaching consequences. First, it laid bare the inscription of patriarchal values in the classic fairy tale, documented the appropriation of the genre by male editors and collectors, and sharpened our understanding ofthe complex editorial and cultural processes involved in the representation of women. Secondly, it confirmed therole of fairy tales in the process of socialization by showing how Wilhelm Grimm's representation of women helped construct a culturally specific model of gender- identity. Finally, by renewing attention to Grimms' female informants, it also identified the presence of female voices in the Grimms' collection, revealed the diversity of those voices, and stimulated the search for narratives andcharacters that resisted the Grimm stereotype.20 27
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DONALD HAASE Woman'sVoice in Fairy Tales The female voice in the fairy tale had initially been conceived as an historical voice - not that of an individual informant - and recognition of that collective female voice was an opportunity to reassert women's ownership
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  • Fall '19
  • Fairy tale, Grimm, Grimms, tales,as Rowe, exchangebetweenLurieand Lieberman

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