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Fairy Tale Function and Paraphernalia

Page history last edited by Abigail Heiniger 7 years, 8 months ago

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Housekeeping: 

 

Agenda:


 


The Cultural Function of Fairy Tales

 

Scenes of Storytelling

 

The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales opens with a section called "Scenes of Storytelling." Let's begin by analyzing these images.

Discussion Question:

  • Context
    • Where would these images have been displayed? 
    • Who would have viewed these images? 
  • Analysis
    • What do these images have in common?
    • What is the significance of these shared images? How do they construct fairy tales/story telling in the cultural imagination? 
  • Scholarship
    • How do these images (and Tatar's brief commentary) resonate with Zipes' "Introduction" to Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion? How are they different?  
  • Elements of Visual Rhetoric  

 


Let's Talk About Genre:

 

Although the major fairytale collections all feature scenes of oral story telling, the focus for this course is upon LITERARY fairy tales published in France and Germany during the 1700s and 1800s.

 

A working definition for the genre of fairy tale might be: a short narrative with a identifiable hero or heroine and a plot that revolves around (expectations of) the fantastic. 

 

We will continue to develop this definition throughout the course of this semester! We will also explore the way responses to literary fairy tales (especially in other media/genres) have renegotiated this definition/genre expectations. 

 


Close Readings

 

"Red Riding Hood"

 

Discussion Questions:

  • Context 
    • Who wrote this literary version of "Red Riding Hood"?
    • When and where was it published?
  • Summarize the narrative in a couple of sentences.
  • Analysis (Close Reading)
    • How do illustrations compliment and modify the text of this fairy tale? 
    • What is the significance of the color red in this fairy tale?
    • What are the gender power politics in this narrative? What is the significance of this (ethically, sexually)? 
  • Scholarship
    • How does Sebastian-Jones approach this fairy tale? Is this article scholarship, critique, or a literary production (or all of the above)? 
    • Describe the experience of reading this story?
      • How does the layout of the prose impact the reader (including the initial directions)? 
      • How do the missing words effect the initial reading of the prose?
      • How do the multiple choice questions impact the reader's response to the narrative? 
    • How does the conclusion of Terayama Shuji's Red Riding Hood emphasize the sexual potential of the wolf's attack on the protagonist? 
    •  Like Tatar (editor of The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales) Terayama Shuji is invested in the psychological power of fairy tales. However, he also incorporates a formal and cultural approach into his analysis/critique. We will be working with ALL of these approaches this semester!  
    • How does Mayako approach this fairy tale?
    • How do Yanagi Miwa's photographs reinterpret fairy tales?
    • How does Yanagi Miwa's visual art resemble Terayama Shuji's literary art?    

 

 


 

"The Red Shoes"

 

Discussion Questions:

  • Context 
    • Who wrote this literary version of "The Red Shoes"?
    • When and where was it published?
  • Summarize the narrative in a couple of sentences.
  • Analysis (Close Reading)
    • This fairy tale has been produced as a ballet. Here are some images from the 1948 British Film The Red Shoes:

 

 

 

    • How do illustrations compliment and modify the text of this fairy tale? 
    • What is the significance of the color red in this fairy tale?
      • How does this compare with the use of red in "Red Riding Hood"? 
    • What are the gender power politics in this narrative? What is the significance of this (ethically, sexually…)? 

 

Fairy Tale Paraphernalia

 

How do the images and paraphernalia generated around these relatively simple narratives shape (define) the evolving cultural meaning of these tales? This is a question we will be answering together all semester. This course will use scholarship, visual art, and material culture to explore the cultural meaning of fairy tales. 

 

Consider this Volvo advertisement. How is the fairy tale "Red Riding Hood" alluded to in this commercial? How does Volvo capitalize on the cultural power of this narrative? Why is this significant for us (as we try to understand the genre and cultural context of fairy tales)?

 

"Little Red Riding Hood" Boston Volvo Commercial.

 

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