Thursday, April 23, 2009

From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers

Author: Marina Warner

First line: In her first anthology of fairy tales, Angela Carter included a story from Kenya: while a poor man's wife in the village thrives, the Sultana in the palace grows thinner and scrappier by the minute.

Why you should read this book: It's a far-reaching scholarly examination of the place of women as tellers of tales as well as the characters within tales, with great emphasis on the voice and the power inherent in communication. Historical research reveals the transmission of cultural knowledge and ways in which personal control is expressed or contained through speech, varying throughout time and geographic location. Almost impossibly detailed in scope, this book spans from the oldest recorded stories to modern film interpretations, examining the prejudices and secrets of every story and every storyteller.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You think the Disney version should be the only version.

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