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Love and Enchantment in Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber
In the thirty-five years since the publication of The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter’s reimagined fairy tales have inspired an impressive body of criticism. Yet none has addressed the ways her fairy tales grapple with and seek to overcome the near impossibility of heterosexual love and desire under patriarchy. In Erotic Infidelities: Love and Enchantment in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, author Kimberly J. Lau argues that the strangeness of Carter’s fairy-tale enchantments—the moments when love or erotic desire escape the deeply familiar, habitual structures and ideologies that contain them—show the momentary, fleeting possibilities for heterosexual love and desire. Lau begins by situating her reading of The Bloody Chamber—as individual stories and as a collection—within and against the critical literature, especially that which addresses Carter’s relationship to psychoanalytic theory and issues of language and desire. In chapter 2, she illustrates Carter’s construction of gender and language as labyrinthine structures—complex cultural edifices constructed and augmented over time. She moves on to consider Carter’s “feline stories” in chapter 3—“The Courtship of Mr. Lyon,” “The Tiger’s Bride,” and “Puss-in-Boots”—as an initial move away from the labyrinthine structures and toward an alternate erotics. In chapter 4, she reads “The Erl-King” and “The Snow Child” as another pair of mirrored tales, while chapter 5 elaborates on the pedophilic and necrophiliac fantasies of a pornographic culture, introduced in the previous chapter with the Count’s desire for the Snow Child. In chapter 6, Lau situates Carter’s three concluding stories—the wolf trilogy—within the context of feminist psychoanalytic understandings of infidelity as that which destabilizes patriarchal hegemonies and constructs. Lau argues that Carter’s “erotic infidelities” work against our culturally determined expectations and longings and usher us into welcome new enchantments. Situated at the intersection of feminist, psychoanalytic, literary, and fairy-tale studies, readers interested in a variety of scholarly disciplines as well as scholars of Carter’s tales will enjoy Lau’s look at enduring questions of gender, sexuality, and desire.
From Personal Narratives to a Group Portrait
In the final years of the Soviet Union and into the 1990s, Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel at an unprecedented rate, bringing about profound changes in Israeli society and the way immigrants understood their own identity. In this volume ex-Soviets in Israel reflect on their immigration experiences, allowing readers to explore this transitional cultural group directly through immigrants’ thoughts, memories, and feelings, rather than physical artifacts like magazines, films, or books. Drawing on their fieldwork as well as on analyses of the Russian-language Israeli media and Internet forums, Larisa Fialkova and Maria N. Yelenevskaya present a collage of cultural and folk traditions—from Slavic to Soviet, Jewish, and Muslim—to demonstrate that the mythology of Soviet Jews in Israel is still in the making. The authors begin by discussing their research strategies, explaining the sources used as material for the study, and analyzing the demographic profile of the immigrants interviewed for the project. Chapters use immigrants’ personal recollections to both find fragments of Jewish tradition that survived despite the assimilation policy in the USSR and show how traditional folk perception of the Other affected immigrants’ interaction with members of their receiving society. The authors also investigate how immigrants’ perception of time and space affected their integration, consider the mythology of Fate and Lucky Coincidences as a means of fighting immigrant stress, examine folk-linguistics and the role of the lay-person’s view of languages in the life of the immigrant community, and analyze the transformation of folklore genres and images of the country of origin under new conditions. As the biggest immigration wave from a single country in Israel’s history, the ex-Soviet Jews make a fascinating case study for a variety of disciplines. Ex-Soviets in Israel will be of interest to scholars who work in Jewish and immigration studies, modern folklore, anthropology, and sociolinguistics.
Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust
The many powerful accounts of the Holocaust have given rise to women’s voices, and yet few researchers have analyzed these perspectives to learn what the horrifying events meant for women in particular and how they related to them. In Experience and Expression, the authors take on this challenge, providing the first book-length gendered analysis of women and the Holocaust, a topic that is emerging as a new field of inquiry in its own right. Accessible to readers on many levels, the essays portray the experiences of women of various religious and ethnic backgrounds, and draw from the fields of English, religion, nursing, history, law, comparative literature, philosophy, French, and German. The collection explores an array of fascinating topics: rescue and resistance, the treatment of Roma and Sinti women, the fate of female forced laborers, Holocaust politics, nurses at so-called euthanasia centers, women’s experiences of food and hunger in the camps, the uses and abuses of Anne Frank, and the representations of the Holocaust in art, film, and literature in the postwar era. The introduction provides a thorough overview of the current status of research in the field, and each essay seeks to push the theoretical boundaries that shape our understanding of women’s experience and agency during the Holocaust and of the ways in which they have expressed their memories.
In the 1970s, feminists focused critical attention on fairy tales and broke the spell that had enchanted readers for centuries. By exposing the role of fairy tales in the cultural struggle over gender, feminism transformed fairy-tale studies and sparked a debate that would change the way society thinks about fairy tales and the words "happily ever after." Now, after three decades of provocative criticism and controversy, this book reevaluates the feminist critique of fairy tales. The eleven essays within Fairy Tales and Feminism challenge and rethink conventional wisdom about the fairy-tale heroine and offer new insights into the tales produced by female writers and storytellers. Resisting a one-dimensional view of the woman-centered fairy tale, each essay reveals ambiguities in female-authored tales and the remarkable potential of classical tales to elicit unexpected responses from women. Exploring new texts and contexts, Fairy Tales and Feminism reaches out beyond the national and cultural boundaries that have limited our understanding of the fairy tale. The authors reconsider the fairy tale in French, German, and Anglo-American contexts and also engage African, Indian Ocean, Iberian, Latin American, Indo-Anglian, and South Asian diasporic texts. Also considered within this volume is how film, television, advertising, and the Internet test the fairy tale's boundaries and its traditional authority in defining gender. From the Middle Ages to the postmodern age-from the French fabliau to Hollywood's Ever After and television's Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?-the essays assembled here cover a broad range of topics that map new territory for fairy-tale studies. Framed by a critical survey of feminist fairy-tale scholarship and an extensive bibliography-the most comprehensive listing of women-centered fairy-tale research ever assembled-Fairy Tales and Feminism is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the intersection of fairy tales and feminism.
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.
Michigan Episodes in the Civil War
The Civil War was the largest and bloodiest conflict ever waged upon American soil, and while no fighting took place in Michigan, both the hardship of the war effort and the heroism of Michigan men at war touched residents deeply. In Father Abraham’s Children: Michigan Episodes in the Civil War, Frank Woodford collects personal remembrances of the war from many sources. Originally published in 1961 and reissued in 1999, this volume is not a formal account of Michigan’s part in the conflict or an analysis of military strategy and wartime politics, but instead presents stories of Michigan soldiers, both as individuals and as units, and their actions, thoughts, and aspirations, presented for the first time in a paperback edition. Among the episodes Woodford recounts with a wealth of colorful detail are Michigan’s participation in the Underground Railroad; the strange tale of Sarah Emma Edmonds, alias Private Franklin Thompson; the ill-fated strategy that led to the slaughter at the Crater; an odyssey of escape from Danville and from Libby Prison; the bizarre Confederate plot to capture a Federal sloop-of-war on Lake Erie; the Michigan Cavalry Brigade’s exploits under George Custer; the chance encounter with a Michigan soldier that brought death to the gallant Jeb Stuart; impressions and descriptions of camp life and the ordinary routine of a soldier from the diary of Private Frank Lane; the disaster of the First Michigan at Bull Run; the story of Michigan’s medical services and the origin of Harper Hospital; the Detroit Riot of 1863; and the nightmare explosion of the steamer Sultana with a death toll of over 1,200 soldiers on their way home from Confederate prisons. Civil War buffs and readers interested in Michigan history will be grateful for the paperback edition of Father Abraham’s Children.
Although the iconic television series Father Knows Best (CBS 1954-55; NBC 1955-58; CBS 1958-60) has enjoyed a long history in rerun syndication and an enduring fan base, it is often remembered as cultural shorthand for 1950s-era conformism and authoritarianism. In this study of Father Knows Best, author Mary R. Desjardins examines the program, its popularity, and its critical position within historical, industrial, and generic contexts to challenge oversimplified assumptions about the show's use of comedy and melodrama in exploring the place of family in mid-twentieth-century American society.Desjardins begins by looking at Father Knows Best within media and production contexts, including its origin on radio, its place in the history of Screen Gems telefilm production, and its roots in the backgrounds and creative philosophies of co-producer Eugene Rodney and star-producer Robert Young. She goes on to examine the social contexts for the creation and reception of the series, especially in the era's emphasis on family togetherness, shared parenting by both father and mother, and generational stages of the life cycle. Against this background, Desjardins also discusses several Father Knows Best episodes in-depth to consider their treatment of conflicts over appropriate gender roles for women. She concludes by exploring how the series' cast participated in reevaluations of the Anderson family's meaning in relation to "real families" of the fifties, through television specials, talk show appearances, magazine and book interviews, and documentaries.Blending melodrama and comedy, naturalistic acting, and stylized cinematic visuals, Father Knows Best dramatized ideological tensions in the most typical situations facing the American family. Scholars of mid-century American popular culture and film history as well as fans of the show will appreciate Desjardin's measured analysis.
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.