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Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder
Fairy-tale adaptations are ubiquitous in modern popular culture, but readers and scholars alike may take for granted the many voices and traditions folded into today's tales. In Fairy Tales Transformed?: Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder, accomplished fairy-tale scholar Cristina Bacchilega traces what she terms a "fairy-tale web" of multivocal influences in modern adaptations, asking how tales have been changed by and for the early twenty-first century. Dealing mainly with literary and cinematic adaptations for adults and young adults, Bacchilega investigates the linked and yet divergent social projects these fairy tales imagine, their participation and competition in multiple genre and media systems, and their relation to a politics of wonder that contests a naturalized hierarchy of Euro-American literary fairy tale over folktale and other wonder genres. Bacchilega begins by assessing changes in contemporary understandings and adaptations of the Euro-American fairy tale since the 1970s, and introduces the fairy-tale web as a network of reading and writing practices with a long history shaped by forces of gender politics, capitalism, and colonialism. In the chapters that follow, Bacchilega considers a range of texts, from high profile films like Disney's Enchanted, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, and Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard to literary adaptations like Nalo Hopkinson's Skin Folk, Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch, and Bill Willingham's popular comics series, Fables. She looks at the fairy-tale web from a number of approaches, including adaptation as "activist response" in Chapter 1, as remediation within convergence culture in Chapter 2, and a space of genre mixing in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 connects adaptation with issues of translation and stereotyping to discuss mainstream North American adaptations of The Arabian Nights as "media text" in post-9/11 globalized culture. Bacchilega's epilogue invites scholars to intensify their attention to multimedia fairy-tale traditions and the relationship of folk and fairy tales with other cultures' wonder genres. Scholars of fairy-tale studies will enjoy Bacchilega's significant new study of contemporary adaptations.
In Defense of William Hull
Details the first major U.S. setback in the War of 1812 and analyzes the background and aftermath of Hull’s surrender.
A wide variety of creatures walk, fly, leap, slither, and swim through fairy-tale history. Some marvelous animal characters are deeply inscribed in current popular culture-the beast redeemed by beauty, the wolf in pursuit of little girls and little pigs, the frog prince released from enchantment by a young princess. But like the adventures of many fairy-tale heroes, a curious reader's exploration in the genre can yield surprises, challenges, and unexpected rewards. Feathers, Paws, Fins, and Claws: Fairy-Tale Beasts presents lesser-known tales featuring animals both wild and gentle who appear in imaginative landscapes and enjoy a host of surprising talents. With striking original illustrations by artist Lina Kusaite and helpful introductions by fairy-tale scholars Jennifer Schacker and Christine A. Jones, the offbeat, haunting stories in this collection are rich and surprisingly relevant, demanding creative reading by audiences aged young adult and up.
Schacker and Jones choose stories that represent several centuries and cultural perspectives on how animals think and move. In these ten stories, rats are just as seductive as Little Red Riding Hood's wolf; snakes find human mates; and dancing sheep and well-mannered bears blur the line between human and beast. Stories range in form from literary ballads to tales long enough to be considered short stories, and all are presented as closely as possible to their original print versions, reflecting the use of historical spelling and punctuation. Beasts move between typical animal behavior (a bird seeking to spread its wings and fly or a clever cat artfully catching its prey) and acts that seem much more human than beastly (three fastidious bears keeping a tidy home together or a snake inviting itself to the dinner table). Kusaite's full-color artwork rounds out this collection, drawing imaginatively on a wide range of visual traditions-from Inuit design to the work of the British Arts and Crafts movement.
Together with the short introductions to the tales themselves, the illustrations invite readers to rediscover the fascinating world of animal fairy tales. All readers interested in storytelling, fairy-tale history, and translation will treasure this beautiful collection.
The phenomenon of risk has been seriously neglected in connection with the study of film, yet many of those who write about film seem to have intuitions about how various forms of risk-taking shape aspects of the filmmaking or film-viewing process. Film and Risk fills this gap as editor Mette Hjort and interdisciplinary contributors discuss film’s relation to all types of risk. Bringing together scholars from philosophy, anthropology, film studies, economics, and cultural studies, as well as experts from the fields of law, filmmaking, and photojournalism, this volume discusses risk from multiple intriguing angles. In thirteen chapters, contributors consider concrete risks (e.g., stunts or financial decisions); theoretical aesthetic and artistic risks (e.g., filmmakers who incorporate excessive hazards into their films); and the real-world jeopardy spectators might put themselves in when viewing films. The first three chapters tackle the conceptual terrain that is relevant to understanding risk in film. The next three chapters focus on risk as it pertains to the practice of filmmaking. Subsequent chapters deal with economic risk and the role that risk has in the development of film’s institutional landscape. The scholarship in this collection is impressive, boasting some of the top writers in their respective fields. Through the contributors’ clear and thorough discussions, this cohesive but diverse collection shows that risk arises in many different areas that tend to be thought of as central to film studies. Scholars of film studies will appreciate this daring and inventive collection, and readers with a general interest in film studies will enjoy its accessible style.
A Tale of Hasidism in the Kingdom of Poland
Half a century after Hasidism blossomed in Eastern Europe, its members were making deep inroads into the institutional structure of Polish Jewish communities, but some devotees believed that the movement had drifted away from its revolutionary ideals. Menashe Unger’s A Fire Burns in Kotsk dramatizes this moment of division among Polish Hasidim in a historical account that reads like a novel, though the book was never billed as such. Originally published in Buenos Aires in 1949 and translated for the first time from Yiddish by Jonathan Boyarin, this volume captures an important period in the evolution of the Hasidic movement, and is itself a missing link to Hasidic oral traditions. A non-observant journalist who had grown up as the son of a prominent Hasidic rabbi, Unger incorporates stories that were told by his family into his historical account. A Fire Burns in Kotsk begins with a threat to the new, rebellious movement within Hasidism known as “the school of Pshiskhe,” led by the good-humored Reb Simkhe Bunim. When Bunim is succeeded by the fiery and forbidding Rebbe of Kotsk, Menachem Mendl Morgenstern, the new leader’s disdain for the vast majority of his followers will lead to a crisis in his court. Around this core narrative of reform and crisis in Hasidic leadership, Unger offers a rich account of the everyday Hasidic court life—filled with plenty of alcohol, stolen geese, and wives pleading with their husbands to come back home. Unger’s volume reflects a period when Eastern European Jewish immigrants enjoyed reading about Hasidic culture in Yiddish articles and books, even as they themselves were rapidly assimilating into American culture. Historians of literature, Polish culture, and Jewish studies will welcome this lively translation.
Folding a River, a collection of elegies, shows a pleasing range of free-verse forms that develop themes sustained throughout: loss, exile, myth, landscape. Kawita Kandpal’s poems are explorations of East–West cultures, taking her into an emo-mythic place not to be found on any map. Kandpal’s mood in Folding a River is melancholy, articulated with intelligence and grace, and her phrasing can rise to the level of proverb: “This time next year you will have evolved into an idea.” In its personal evocations of geographical and linguistic exile from the subcontinent, centered on a lost father, her work recalls that of Li-Young Lee, yet with a feminine perspective often haunting in its own right: “tenderly / taking back the mistakes of men.”
Translator-Authors in the Age of Goethe
The turn of the nineteenth century was a particularly fertile period in the history of translation theory and practice. With an unprecedented number of works being carefully translated and scrutinized, this era saw a definite shift in the dominant mode of translation. Many translators began attempting, for the first time, to communicate the formal characteristics, linguistic features, and cultural contexts of the original text while minimizing the paraphrasing that distorted most eighteenth-century translations. As soon as these new rules became the norm, authorial translators—defined not by virtue of being authors in their own right but by the liberties they took in their translations—emerged to challenge them, altering translated texts in such a way as to bring them into line with the artistic and thematic concerns displayed in the translators’ own “original” work. In the process, authorial translators implicitly declared translation an art form and explicitly incorporated it into their theoretical programs for the poetic arts. Foreign Words provides a detailed account of translation practice and theory throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, linking the work of actual translators to the theories of translation articulated by Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and, above all, Friedrich Schleiermacher. Employing a variety of critical approaches, author Susan Bernofsky discusses in depth the work of Kleist, Hölderlin, and Goethe, whose virtuoso translations raise issues that serve to delineate a theory of translation that has relevance at the turn of the twenty-first century as well. Combining a broad historical approach with individual readings of the work of several different translators, Foreign Words paints a full picture of translation during the Age of Goethe and provides all scholars of translation theory with an important new perspective.