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Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale

Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures

Edited by Mayako Murai and Luciana Cardi

Fairy-Tale Studies, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism and Theory

The Donald Haase Series in Fairy-Tale Studies

Printed Paper Cased
Published: August 2020
ISBN: 9780814345351
Pages: 432 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 39 full-color images
Published: August 2020
ISBN: 9780814345368
Pages: 432 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 39 full-color images
Published: August 2020
ISBN: 9780814345375

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures seeks to "re-orient" the fairy tale across different cultures, media, and disciplines and proposes new approaches to the ever-expanding fairy-tale web in a global context with a special emphasis on non-Euro-American materials. Editors Mayako Murai and Luciana Cardi bring together emerging and established researchers in various disciplines from around the world to decenter existing cultural and methodological assumptions underlying fairy-tale studies and suggest new avenues into the increasingly complex world of fairy-tale cultures today.

Divided into three parts, the fourteen essays cover a range of materials from Hawaiian wonder tales to Japanese heroine tales to Spanish fairy-tale film adaptation. Chapters include an invitation from Cristina Bacchilega to explore the possibilities related to the uncanny processes of both disorientation and re-orientation taking place in the "journeys" of wonder tales across multiple media and cultures. Aleksandra Szugajew’s chapter outlines the strategies adopted by recent Hollywood live-action fairy-tale films to attract adult audiences and reveals how this new genre offers a form of global entertainment and a forum that invites reflection on various social and cultural issues in today’s globalizing world. Katsuhiko Suganuma draws on queer theory and popular musicology to analyze the fairy-tale intertexts in the works of the Japanese all-female band Princess Princess and demonstrate that popular music can be a medium through which the queer potential of ostensibly heteronormative traditional fairy tales may emerge. Daniela Kato’s chapter explores the ecological dimensions of Carter’s literary fairy tale and offers an ecofeminist interpretation of a fairy-tale forest as a borderland that lies beyond the nature-culture dichotomy.

Readers will find inspiration and new directions in the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to fairy tales provided by Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale.

Mayako Murai is professor of English and comparative literature at Kanagawa University, Japan. She is the author of From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West (Wayne State University Press, 2015).

Luciana Cardi is a lecturer in both Japanese and comparative studies and in Italian language and culture at Osaka University, Japan. Her publications include "Retelling Medea in Postwar Japan: The Function of Ancient Greece in Two Literary Adaptations by Mishima Yukio and Kurahashi Yumiko" and "A Fool Will Never Be Happy: Kurahashi Yumiko’s Retelling of Snow White" (Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, 2013).

Contributors Include:
Cristina Bacchilega, Shuli Barzilai, Michael Brodski, Luciana Cardi, Lucy Fraser, Roxane Hughes, Natsumi Ikoma, Vanessa Joosen, Daniela Kato, Masafumi Monden, Mayako Murai, Hatsue Nakawaki, Nieves Moreno Redondo, Katsuhiko Suganuma, Aleksandra Szugajew, ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale represents a significant contribution to an emerging area of inquiry in which there is a great deal of intellectual interest. Since many of the themes explored are not treated comprehensively elsewhere, it will prove attractive to a readership seeking to understand cutting-edge developments in the field of study. The book is also socially and intellectually important in the challenges it makes to hierarchical and binaristic thinking and in its determination to revalue indigenous storytelling cultures that have been marginalized by neo-imperial global media.

– Andrew Teverson, author of The Fairy Tale World

In its Puckish way, this volume pleasantly disorients scholars who are familiar only with the path of Eurocentric concepts of fairy tales. In so doing, it leads them to robust storytelling traditions from many non-Western cultures. Meanwhile, contributors’ postmodern strategies, lucidly developed, offer provocative ways to appreciate familiar Western tales.

– Bill Ellis, professor emeritus of English and American studies, Penn State University

Uniformly well researched and well written, and [. . .] seriously engages with the notion of re-orienting, thus producing new insights and directions for fairy-tale studies.

– E. R. Baer, CHOICE Connect

Every single essay in this volume is worth reading if the contemporary critical theory and history of folklore and fairy-tale studies is to continue along a trajectory begun after World War II. This book signals how important it is to plunge forward with multi-theoretical critical and historical approaches to folk and fairy tales.

– Jack Zipes, Journal of Folklore Research: An International Journal of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

All of the essays are worth reading for their insights on a variety of topics, and Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale as a whole is yet another contribution to the field of folktale studies published by Wayne State University Press.

– Juliette Wood, Folklore

Thus, this collection is highly recommended to those who are interested not only in fairy-tale adaptations, but also in how to rectify our previous framed views of once-unfamiliar cultures in order to understand them better. As members of the global internet community, readers of the collection will gain a valuable opportunity to think about how to engage in the ongoing integration of various cultural arenas today.

– Fumihiko Kobayashi, Journal of American Folklore

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale as a whole succeeds in its goal, and although there is some overlap in the strategies used, the unique cites (in Bacchilega’s sense) and contexts each scholar explores on their journeys through the margins, edges and borderlands nevertheless reveal enriching insights. It solidifies with its contributions that this is a rich area of enquiry with many possible avenues of exploration, and that it is necessary to disorient and re-orient hierarchical and binaristic perspectives, ultimately underscoring the remarkable ability of the fairy tale to surprise us with new wondrous dimensions.

– Anna Katrina Gutierrez, Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research

Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale does what any good scholarly publication should do: raises important questions, presents novel ideas and sound research, and provides readers with ample food for thought. Its gaze is turned both outward and inward: on the one hand, it pushes the boundaries of current fairy- tale scholarship, calling for and successfully exemplifying greater (linguistic, cultural, geographical, etc.) scope, while critically re-examining the foundations of that same scholarship, challenging its Western-centrism and questioning the universal applicability of its key concepts.

– Nada Kujundzic, Mythlore

It would make a compelling addition to the shelves of scholars of fairy tales and folklore—and the distinction between folklore and fairy tale does blur in many of the storytelling traditions discussed in the volume. It successfully accomplishes both the subtitle and title of the book.

– Raven Johnston, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts