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

Recovering the female fairy tale tradition rowes

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Recovering the Female Fairy-Tale Tradition Rowe's claim for the fairy tale as a female art initiated lines of feminist inquiry that would require significant rewriting of the genre's history. The best known and most comprehensive work of scholarship on this topic is Marina Warner's book of 1994, From the Beast to the Blonde : On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers, which expanded Rowe's initial exploration of female storytellers and their represen- tations into a panoramic history. While Warner's expansive multidisciplinary study offered a macroscopic view of the female voice in storytelling, scholars of specific national literatures engaged in pioneering research and recovery work that brought to light forgotten, neglected, or unknown examples of female fairy-tale production and reception. In 1987 Jeannine Blackwell published an important article that docu- mented female contributions to the fairy tale in nineteenth-century Germany ("Fractured Fairy Tales"). In her attention to the reception of fairy tales by women in the nineteenth-century home and to women's independent author- ship of literary tales, Blackwell uncovered theefforts of women to restore a female narrative voice to the genre that had been, in Germany, largely appro- priated and defined by theGrimms. Subsequent research began to flesh out those findings with specific studies, editions, and translations of individual German women writers whohad engaged the fairy tale in various ways during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.26 That work continues in this special issue with the translations and commentaries by Jarvis ("Wicked Sisters") and Blackwell ("German Fairy Tales"), who have just completed a major translation project, The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women Writers 1780-1900. Building on the previous scholarship - which stressed the tales' social criticism, the attempts to construct new models of female behavior, and women's struggle to define the genre for themselves - the translations and commentary in this issue underline the diversity and complexity that characterized the production of fairy tales by German Romantic women writers. The recovery of the French female fairy-tale tradition has movedat a somewhat faster pace than the recovery and assessment of tales by German women writers; however, both strands of scholarship haverevealed the com- plexity involved in women's reappropriation of the genre. The production of fairy tales by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French women had not been completely unknown, of course; but their works, which had not en- joyed the canonical status of Perrault's Contes, werein need of rediscovery and reassessment, especially in light of feminist scholarship. Rowe, in fact, had suggested that it was time "to reconceptualize Madame d'Aulnoy, Mile.
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  • Fall '19
  • Fairy tale, Grimm, Grimms, tales,as Rowe, exchangebetweenLurieand Lieberman

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