Reading, Translating, Rewriting
Angela Carter's Translational Poetics
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Wayne State University Press
Series: Series in Fairy-Tale Studies
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
Introduction: Angela Carter’s French Connections
Translation is a little explored facet of Angela Carter’s rich creativity, even though it formed the background for and counterpoint to her fairy-tale rewritings in The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979). Always a curious traveler, Carter liked to move between continents, cultures, languages, literatures, genres, and media, and this gave her writing its distinctive...
1. Tracing Editorial Metamorphoses: The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault from 1977 to the Present Day
The making of a book is notoriously influenced by powerful intermediaries and prescriptors—commissioners, editors, publishers, booksellers—quite apart from the author. Their influence is not always easy to assess, and this may be even more true in the case of a translation, where there is often a...
2. Updating the Politics of Experience: From “Le Petit Chaperon rouge” to “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Company of Wolves”
“Little Red Riding Hood,” Angela Carter’s translation of Charles Perrault’s “Le Petit Chaperon rouge,” is given pride of place in The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. This reflects both the preeminence of the story in the modern fairy-tale canon and its central role in Carter’s body of work. Sandra...
3. Looking Through the Keyhole of Culture, or the Moral Function of Curiosity: From “La Barbe bleue” to “Bluebeard” and “The Bloody Chamber”
In the course of her research Angela Carter became aware of the manifold cultural infl ections and shifting signifi cance of the Bluebeard story. More visibly grounded in a history of violence against women than most fairy tales, every retelling positions itself implicitly toward the protagonists, either...
4. Doing the Somersault of Love: From “Le Chat botté” to “Puss in Boots” and “Puss-in-Boots”
“Puss in Boots,” Angela Carter’s translation of Charles Perrault’s “Le Maître Chat, ou le Chat botté,” is the third tale in The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, and it brings comic relief after the human drama of “Little Red Riding Hood” and the shuddering suspense of “Bluebeard.” The fact that...
5. Revamping Sleeping Beauty: From “La Belle au bois dormant” to “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood” and “The Lady of the House of Love”
When we think of “Sleeping Beauty,” what immediately comes to mind is the magical kiss given by Prince Charming to the eponymous heroine, often filtered through Walt Disney’s animated movie of 1959. A central icon of the Disney fairy-tale industry, the pink, gold, and light blue Sleeping...
6. Recovering a Female Tradition: From “La Belle et la Bête” to “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Tiger’s Bride”
Angela Carter also translated two contes by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont: “Le Prince Chéri” and “La Belle et la Bête.” The tales were published alongside her translations of Perrault in Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales (1982).1 “Beauty and the Beast” inspired two...
7. Giving Up the Ghost: From “Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufl e de verre” to “Cinderella: or, The Little Glass Slipper” and “Ashputtle or The Mother’s Ghost”
The Bloody Chamber contains retellings of well-known tales such as “Bluebeard,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood.” “Cinderella” is surprisingly absent from the collection, especially when we consider that Angela Carter had translated...
Conclusion: The Poetics and Politics of Translation