Friday, March 22, 2019

New Book: Teaching Fairy Tales (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Nancy L Canepa

Teaching Fairy Tales (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Nancy L Canepa (Editor, Contributor) was released this month. I received a review copy and it is an interesting read. And yes, SurLaLune does get mentioned in one article as a good source to use for one recommended exercise.

I couldn't find an easy to copy text version of the Table of Contents but you can view it at Google Books preview. I recommend looking at that to see the wide range of articles and syllabai examples included. A great resource for inspiring different ways to use fairy tales across many disciplines.

Book description:

Teaching Fairy Tales edited by Nancy L. Canepa brings together scholars who have contributed to the field of fairy-tale studies since its origins. This collection offers information on materials, critical approaches and ideas, and pedagogical resources for the teaching of fairy tales in one comprehensive source that will further help bring fairy-tale studies into the academic mainstream.

The volume begins by posing some of the big questions that stand at the forefront of fairy-tale studies: How should we define the fairy tale? What is the "classic" fairy tale? Does it make sense to talk about a fairy-tale canon? The first chapter includes close readings of tales and their variants, in order to show how fairy tales aren't simple, moralizing, and/or static narratives. The second chapter focuses on essential moments and documents in fairy-tale history, investigating how we gain unique perspectives on cultural history through reading fairy tales. Contributors to chapter 3 argue that encouraging students to approach fairy tales critically, either through well-established lenses or newer ways of thinking, enables them to engage actively with material that can otherwise seem over-familiar. Chapter 4 makes a case for using fairy tales to help students learn a foreign language. Teaching Fairy Tales also includes authors' experiences of successful hands-on classroom activities with fairy tales, syllabi samples from a range of courses, and testimonies from storytellers that inspire students to reflect on the construction and transmission of narrative by becoming tale-tellers themselves.

Teaching Fairy Tales crosses disciplinary, historical, and national boundaries to consider the fairy-tale corpus integrally and from a variety of perspectives. Scholars from many different academic areas will use this volume to explore and implement new aspects of the field of fairy-tale studies in their teaching and research.

Nancy Canepa is associate professor of Italian at Dartmouth College. Her publications include From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile and the Birth of the Literary Fairy Tale (Wayne State University Press, 1999), Out of the Woods: The Origins of the Literary Fairy Tale in Italy and France (Wayne State University Press, 1997), and the translation of Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales (Wayne State University Press, 2007).

Contributors Include:
Graham Anderson, Cristina Bacchilega, Benjamin Balak, Faith E. Beasley, Elio Brancaforte, Nancy L. Canepa, Anne E. Duggan, Donald Haase, Christine A. Jones, Maria Kaliambou, Julie L. J. Koehler, Charlotte Trinquet du Lys, Suzanne Magnanini, Cristina Mazzoni, Gina Miele, William Moebius, Maria Nikolajeva, Jennifer Schacker, Ann Schmiesing, Lewis C. Seifert, Victoria Somoff, Allison Stedman, Kay Stone, Maria Tatar, Gioia Timpanelli, Linda Kraus Worley, Jack Zipes

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Newish Book: How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen was released in November 2018. This collects many of Yolen's previously published fairy tale retellings and includes her notes on the tales, too. Some are short stories, others are poems. A very handy collection of Yolen's short fairy tale works.

Book description:

“This collection is Jane Yolen at her best. This is magic.”―Patricia C. Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Fantasy icon Jane Yolen (The Devil’s Arithmetic, Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship) is adored by generations of readers of all ages. Now she triumphantly returns with this inspired gathering of fractured fairy tales and legends. Yolen breaks open the classics to reveal their crystalline secrets: a philosophical bridge that misses its troll, a spinner of straw as a falsely accused moneylender, the villainous wolf adjusting poorly to retirement. Each of these offerings features a new author note and original poem, illuminating tales that are old, new, and brilliantly refined.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Newish Book: Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen was released in late 2018. The ebook version is available for $3.99, a technical bargain ebook to SurLaLune blog standards.

Book description:

Finding Baba Yaga is a mythic yet timely novel-in-verse by the beloved and prolific New York Times bestselling author and poet Jane Yolen, “the Hans Christian Andersen of America” (Newsweek).

A young woman discovers the power to speak up and take control of her fate―a theme that has never been more timely than it is now…

You think you know this story.
You do not.

A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: A house that walks about on chicken feet and is inhabited by a fairy tale witch. In finding Baba Yaga, Natasha finds her voice, her power, herself....

"Jane Yolen is a phenomenon: a poet and a mythmaker, who understands how old stories can tell us new things. We are lucky to have her."―Neil Gaiman

Bargain Ebook: Not One Damsel in Distress: Heroic Girls from World Folklore

Not One Damsel in Distress: Heroic Girls from World Folklore by Jane Yolen (Author), Susan Guevara (Illustrator) is on sale this month for $2.99 for ebook format. This is an expanded second edition if you own the first edition in paper like I do.

Book description:

From celebrated author Jane Yolen comes this inspiring collection of folktales from around the world, all featuring strong female heroes.

These fifteen folktales have one thing in common: brainy, bold, brave women—and not one damsel in distress! There is Bradamante, the fierce medieval knight; Li Chi, the Chinese girl who slays a dreaded serpent and saves her town; Makhta, a female warrior who leads her Sioux tribe into battle; and many more women who use their cunning, wisdom, and strength to succeed.

Drawing from diverse cultures around the world, renowned author Jane Yolen celebrates the female heroes of legend and lore in a collection that will empower every reader. This new edition features two brand-new stories from Azerbaijan and Indonesia, and enhanced illustrations.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Newish Book: White as Milk, Red as Blood: The Forgotten Fairy Tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth

White as Milk, Red as Blood: The Forgotten Fairy Tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth (Author), Willow Dawson (Illustrator), Shelley Tanaka (Translator), Philip Pullman (Foreword) was released last year. Not to be confused with the previously published The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, this is an alternate translation of tales by Schönwerth. I have posted previously about other books and articles about Schönwerth--you can find those posts here including one about the discovery of the "lost" tales--a romantic marketing notion when "semi-forgotten" and "previously neglected" would be more accurate. But I am all for whatever it takes to get fairy tale collections supported and readily available for new audiences, especially new translations. This newest collection contains fewer tales and is less academic in nature but offers lush illustrations instead.

Book description:

This striking, richly illustrated edition of long-lost German fairy tales is not a book for children. It is a book for adults. Or for adults to frighten children into behaving...whichever you prefer.

In 2009, a trove of lost fairy tales collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth--a 19th-century collector of Bavarian folk tales and contemporary of the Brothers Grimm--was unearthed in a municipal archive in Germany. Unlike the Grimms, who polished the stories they collected, adapting to contemporary tastes, von Schönwerth recorded the stories as they were told, plucking them directly from the living, breathing tree of oral storytelling, retaining their darker themes and sometimes shocking violence. Von Schönwerth published a single volume of these tales in his lifetime, but the vast majority languished and were forgotten over the years, effectively frozen in time until their recent rediscovery.

Now, award-winning illustrator Willow Dawson, in collaboration with translator Shelley Tanaka, has brought these long-lost tales unforgettably to life, illuminating with striking woodcut-style illustrations a spectacular collection that will change the way you look at fairy tales forever. Paired with Dawson's arresting artwork, the stories in White as Milk, Red as Blood race with palpable energy through fantasy landscapes darker, bawdier and racier than anything we find in Disney or the Grimms.

Following the tradition of illustrated fairy-tale collections, White as Milk, Red as Blood is the very first fully illustrated, full-colour edition of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's work. It is a timeless tome of enchantment and foreboding: tales--as haunting as they are profound--of powerful princesses, helpless men, lecherous villains, virtuous girls, witches, giants, at least one female serial killer, mer-people, shape-shifters and talking beasts--a kaleidoscope of wonders both familiar and entirely new; rich and strange.

Dawson and Tanaka's dark and lively take on von Schönwerth's collected tales will appeal to fans of Mike Mignola's classic fantasy comic-book series Hellboy.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Newish Book: Fashion in the Fairy Tale Tradition: What Cinderella Wore by Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario

Fashion in the Fairy Tale Tradition: What Cinderella Wore by Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario was released last year but I just discovered it myself. I've not seen more than the preview pages available online but what I've seen is very interesting!

Book Description:

Examines well-known fairy tales from the Grimm brothers and Perrault
Reveals a critical nexus of fairy tale and fashion that sheds light upon constructs of privilege with ramifications for class and gender studies of the genre
Covers early modern tales and the gradual decline of fashion-orientated fairy tales as well as identifing a resurgence in the twentieth century, when the stage and screen revived the glamour of fairy tale to appeal to the masses, culminating in the phenomenon of Disney princesses.

This book is a journey through the fairy-tale wardrobe, explaining how the mercurial nature of fashion has shaped and transformed the Western fairy-tale tradition. Many of fairy tale’s most iconic images are items of dress: the glass slippers, the red capes, the gowns shining like the sun, and the red shoes. The material cultures from which these items have been conjured reveal the histories of patronage, political intrigue, class privilege, and sexual politics behind the most famous fairy tales. The book not only reveals the sartorial truths behind Cinderella’s lost slippers, but reveals the networks of female power woven into fairy tale itself.

From a review of the book:

“This book seeks to investigate the role clothing and fashion plays in fairy tales and how fashion has actively shaped fairy-tale traditions, revealing the material cultures behind the most sartorial gestures. … The book is a useful addition to this expanding area of literature. It is well referenced and highlights a novel aspect of the fairy-tale tradition.” (B.C. Kennedy, Gramarye, Issue 14, 2018)

Friday, March 8, 2019

International Women's Day 2019 and Women in Folklore: Leonora Lang

Hello dear readers,

I didn't want to miss acknowledging International Women's Day on the SurLaLune Blog today but my time is short. So this will be quick and sloppy. One of the many things I love about fairy tales and folklore is how much they represent women's voices over the centuries. I have spent thousands of hours reading folklore collections and studies over the years. During these experiences, I have been impressed over and over with how often the folklorists involved were women. My sloppiness is my lack of time to compile the list of so many women past and present whose work I value in the field.

I was raised by a strong woman who taught and gave me so much, especially a value for education and continued learning, which has fueled my passion for SurLaLune. March this year began with the news that my mother has terminal cancer. As I cope with the process of saying good-bye to her for now, I am even more aware than usual of those precious gifts and legacies she made possible for me. Another gift was her awareness of women's issues and acknowledging the challenges that come with being a woman past and present, too, on this earth.

As I work on SurLaLune projects, I am also reminded of the work of so many women who are lesser known, whose work I build upon in this field, and whose work I try to keep visible for others to discover and enjoy as they delve into reading fairy tales and folklore.

If time allows, I will share more names and work of some of those women this month and in the months to come. Many will have their work represented in the forthcoming SurLaLune Tales Database.

Today, on the quick and sloppy note, I wanted to highlight Leonora Blanche "Nora" Lang (née Alleyne), wife of Andrew Lang, whose work is often overshadowed by her husband's name. The Lang Colored Fairy Books are more her work than that of her accredited husband--something he freely stated in his introductions. If you want to read more about her, visit the Wikipedia entry devoted to her.

In his introduction to The Lilac Fairy Book, Andrew Lang writes:

The fairy books have been almost wholly the work of Mrs. Lang, who has translated and adapted them from the French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and other languages.
The failure to put her name on the cover appears to be more marketing issues than not in this instance, still not acceptable in this day and age, and it shouldn't have been then. Her husband was famous. The publishers wanted his name on the cover and they did publish other books with her name on the cover. Which begs as to why they didn't add hers to the fairy books, too. But it is the past and we cannot change it.

However, when the SurLaLune Tales Database launches, I have decided to include Mrs. Lang's name in the bibliographic information for the fairy books and their respective tales. Those books have already been added and here is a screen shot of the decision I made last year on how to give some of the credit back to her for this series that has influenced countless people for many generations already.

Finally, to see my past posts about Women and Folklore just follow that link.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New Book: Gingerbread: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi

Gingerbread: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi is a new book released this week. Oyeyemi is marketed more under literary fiction than genre fiction although she uses fairy tales to inspire her novels.

You can read an interview with Oyeyemi about the book on Vulture at Helen Oyeyemi at Gingerbread, Her Twist on Hansel and Gretel, and Reading Amazon Reviews.

Book description:

The prize-winning, bestselling author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a bewitching and imaginative novel.

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories, beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe.

Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (or, according to many sources, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. The world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread, however, is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend Gretel Kercheval —a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Bremen Town Musicians by Krista Baumgaertel in Riga, Latvia

Nearly two years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a Baltic cruise with my husband and parents. I shared some of my adventures on the blog then, but then life distracted me again. I still have several treasures from the trip to share here. 

One of our ports of call was Riga, Latvia. There were other discoveries that day but this one merits its own post. A sighting of the Bremen Town Musicians near St Peter's Church in the Old Town. I had a few sightings of this tale on the trip as I recall, but this was a favorite.

As always, you can click on these images to see them larger. 

At the time, I didn't understand that this statue was politically inspired. I just thought it was another instance of affection for the tale--which it is--but deeper meaning was also intended here. After all, Riga was once behind the Iron Curtain. Here's what I discovered when I sought more information about the statue:

From the Live Riga site:

The political monument "Bremen Town Musicians" was created by Bremen artist Krista Baumgaertel. The sculpture is based on a fairy tail by the Brothers Grimm, but created with a political subtext as it was inspired by Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika. The sculpture, a gift from Riga's sister city Bremen, was made in 1990. It's a humorous approach towards previous political stereotypes. The bronze figures are not staring through the window at the robbers' feast at a table full of drinks and food; they are peering through the Iron Curtain on a completely new world where they had thought to find a bone or a piece of meat. Come see the musicians - an ironic view at sudden independence.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Health Insurance in Brazil

I'm still always fascinated by the many ways fairy tales are used to promote products all over the world.

Here are two commercials created by Draftz, Brazil for Unimed Araçatuba for health insurance. Rapunzel and Snow White get happy endings earlier than expected with the help of some insurance cards. There is a third in the series that uses Romeo and Juliet but I decided I wouldn't include it here since that's not a fairy tale.

Friday, March 1, 2019

New Book: Workers' Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain

Workers' Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain (Oddly Modern Fairy Tales) by Michael Rosen was released in late 2018. I just received a review copy in the last week which is how it came to my attention.

I love books that explore an unusual but fascinating theme for fairy tale studies. Collections like this show the universality of fairy tales and their adaptability, once again demonstrating why fairy tales and folklore are fascinating in general. The Oddly Modern Fairy Tales series continues to be a fascinating theme from Princeton University Press.

Book description:

A collection of political tales―first published in British workers’ magazines―selected and introduced by acclaimed critic and author Michael Rosen

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, unique tales inspired by traditional literary forms appeared frequently in socialist-leaning British periodicals, such as the Clarion, Labour Leader, and Social Democrat. Based on familiar genres―the fairy tale, fable, allegory, parable, and moral tale―and penned by a range of lesser-known and celebrated authors, including Schalom Asch, Charles Allen Clarke, Frederick James Gould, and William Morris, these stories were meant to entertain readers of all ages―and some challenged the conventional values promoted in children’s literature for the middle class. In Workers’ Tales, acclaimed critic and author Michael Rosen brings together more than forty of the best and most enduring examples of these stories in one beautiful volume.

Throughout, the tales in this collection exemplify themes and ideas related to work and the class system, sometimes in wish-fulfilling ways. In “Tom Hickathrift,” a little, poor person gets the better of a gigantic, wealthy one. In “The Man Without a Heart,” a man learns about the value of basic labor after testing out more privileged lives. And in “The Political Economist and the Flowers,” two contrasting gardeners highlight the cold heart of Darwinian competition. Rosen’s informative introduction describes how such tales advocated for contemporary progressive causes and countered the dominant celebration of Britain’s imperial values. The book includes archival illustrations, biographical notes about the writers, and details about the periodicals where the tales first appeared.

Provocative and enlightening, Workers’ Tales presents voices of resistance that are more relevant than ever before.