Donald Haase has described how “Sleeping Beauty” has an “underlying preoccupation with the creative power of language and storytelling,” but the story, in its various incarnations, has also become an exercise in visualization, giving us instructions on how to construct the image of a beautiful woman, one to be looked at, to use Laura Mulvey’s terminology. Over the centuries a once robust narrative with many twists and turns was edited down by the Brothers Grimm to emphasize the enraptured gaze of a rescuing prince as he beholds a woman who, through a sleight of words, becomes a verbal icon. It took Angela Carter to demythologize sleeping beauties in all their verbal and visual variety. In “The Lady of the House of Love,” she reveals the dangers of fetishizing not just sleeping beauties but fairy tales in general.


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pp. 142-158
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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