Monday, July 16, 2012

The Americanization of the Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Folklore Society presents: Professor Jack Zipes: "The Americanization of the Grimms' Fairy Tales", a public lecture in celebration of the bicentenary of the first publication of the Grimms' tales.

Wednesday 12 September, 5-7 p.m. at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB.

This illustrated lecture is free and open to all, and is followed by refreshments. Prior booking is essential. For tickets, contact

Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion [Paperback]
Publication Date: 31 Aug 2011

From the publisher: The fairy tale is arguably one of the most important cultural and social influences on children's lives. But until the first publication of Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, little attention had been paid to the ways in which the writers and collectors of tales used traditional forms and genres in order to shape children's lives – their behavior, values, and relationship to society.

As Jack Zipes convincingly shows in this classic work, fairy tales have always been a powerful discourse, capable of being used to shape or destabilize attitudes and behavior within culture. How and why did certain authors try to influence children or social images of children? How were fairy tales shaped by the changes in European society in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Zipes examines famous writers of fairy tales such as Charles Perrault, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and L.Frank Baum and considers the extraordinary impact of Walt Disney on the genre as a fairy tale filmmaker.

 The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre [Hardcover]
Publication Date: 8 April 2012
From the Publisher: If there is one genre that has captured the imagination of people in all walks of life throughout the world, it is the fairy tale. Yet we still have great difficulty understanding how it originated, evolved, and spread--or why so many people cannot resist its appeal, no matter how it changes or what form it takes. In this book, renowned fairy-tale expert Jack Zipes presents a provocative new theory about why fairy tales were created and retold--and why they became such an indelible and infinitely adaptable part of cultures around the world.

Drawing on cognitive science, evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology, literary theory, and other fields, Zipes presents a nuanced argument about how fairy tales originated in ancient oral cultures, how they evolved through the rise of literary culture and print, and how, in our own time, they continue to change through their adaptation in an ever-growing variety of media. In making his case, Zipes considers a wide range of fascinating examples, including fairy tales told, collected, and written by women in the nineteenth century; Catherine Breillat's film adaptation of Perrault's "Bluebeard"; and contemporary fairy-tale drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs that critique canonical print versions.

While we may never be able to fully explain fairy tales, The Irresistible Fairy Tale provides a powerful theory of how and why they evolved--and why we still use them to make meaning of our lives.

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