The Fairy-Tale Vanguard: Literary Self-Consciousness in a Marvelous Genre
Ever since its early modern inception as a literary genre unto its own, the fairy tale has frequently provided authors with a textual space in which to reflect on the nature, status and function of their own writing and that of literature in general. At the same time, it has served as an ideal laboratory for exploring and experimenting with the boundaries of literary convention and propriety. While scholarship pertaining to these phenomena has focused primarily on the fairy-tale adaptations and deconstructions of postmodern(ist) writers, this essay collection adopts a more diachronic approach. It offers fairy-tale scholars and students a series of theoretical and literary-historical expositions, as well as case studies on English, French, German, Swedish, Danish, and Romanian texts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, by authors as diverse as Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Rikki Ducornet, Hans Christian Andersen and Robert Coover.
Stijn Praet is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer in the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University, Belgium, where he teaches courses on fairy-tale history and research methodology, and the theory and practice of literary translation. He has authored several articles and book chapters on Latin and vernacular fairy tales in publications such as IJCT, Viator, Volkskunde, Narratologie und mittelalterliches Erzählen, and Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment, as well as a volume of translated Latin poetry, In het spoor van Vergilius.
Anna Kérchy is an Associate Professor of Literature at the English Department of Szeged University, Hungary, where she teaches courses on children’s literature, Victorian and postmodern fantastic imagination, and gender studies. She is the author of Alice in Transmedia Wonderland and Angela Carter’s Body-Texts. Her (co-)editorial work includes Postmodern Reinterpretations of Fairy-Tales and a journal issue on Translating and Transmediating Children’s Literature. She has also authored a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures.
“This rich volume testifies to the fairy tale’s vanguard potential in a wide range of historical, national and cultural contexts. The case studies are fascinating, and the volume as a whole makes a compelling argument that fairy tales have been a prime place for literary experimentation.”
Professor of English and Children’s Literature, University of Antwerp
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