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Author Comment
Fairyperson
Unregistered User
(3/22/05 12:54 am)
fairytale genre
A very important element of fairytales is of course, the fairytale genre. Many do not comprehend the meaning of the fairytale genre, and nor did I until further research was done. In essence, the fairytale genre is made up of various elements. This begins usually with an undefined setting (In a land far far away), followed by the use of flat characters (unimportant characters who have consistency in staying the same), magic and transformation (beauty and the beast: the beast transforms into a handsome prince through use of magic) and an implicit of explicit prohibition that affects the plot though dilemma.
Some have an unclear vision of the fairytale genre and as is above is what i have been led to believe. If anybody has anything to add on this particular element, please feel free to write back as i would particularly enjoy some feedback on those who are approaching this question for the first time as it could be I who is in fault. thankyou

redtriskell
Registered User
(3/23/05 1:05 am)
Re: fairytale genre
Well, Fairyperson, you seem to covered all the main points. I would add that the inherent "goodness" of the protaganist is also very important to the larger definition of a fairy tale. For example, Beauty is not only pretty, she is also brave (for taking her father's place at the Beast's castle) and kind-hearted (to fall in love with the Beast). Another good example of this idea is Cinderella. Not only is she beautiful, she is also patient, hard-working, and kind. I think these types of qualities almost always appear in the hero/ine of most fairy tales. Usually, the main character has to be "good" in order to win out in the end of the story.

Terri Windling
Registered User
(3/23/05 8:19 am)
Re: fairytale genre
I'm not sure I agree with that, Redtriskell. There are also fairy tales in which the hero is tricky, wily, clever, rather than good per se. In The Fitcher's Bird, for instance, the heroine wins out against the evil enchanter not because she has more goodness in her than her two elder sisters but because she keeps her wits about her and is clever. The tale ends with her burning the enchanter and all his friends up in his house.

In modern versions of fairy tales, we still see a few trickster-ish, clever heroes, but not many heroines who play this role. I can think of quite a number of older fairy tales in which a heroine's quick wits saves the day...but being good and modest and dutiful is what is emphasized in more recent versions. Red Riding Hood for instance, in the older versions (www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/rrPathNeedles.html), comes close to death when she is being nice and obliging to the wolf but then saves herself when she finally wises up and starts acting clever. Yet when Perrault re-told the tale (and in versions thereafter), sudden the story hinged on Red Riding Hood's lack of modesty and virtue. She is gobbled up by the wolf precisely because she lacks these things, and that becomes the point of the story. Very different from the older versions.

Edited by: Terri Windling at: 3/23/05 8:21 am
Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(3/26/05 5:13 pm)
suffering added?
I'd have to dig for my copy of the Abruzzi version of L'orca,, but offhand I don't recall it having the meeting with the wolf; iirc she befriends some objects along the way, who then help her as she escapes, reminding me of some Vasilia tales. So this would just be a clever, generous protagonist with no politeness/modesty issue or traits special to 'female heros'.
Was it Zipes who wrote about old versions of Rapunzel that were mostly comic, with the lover often visiting Rapunzel in her tower and the lovers outwitting the witch first one way and another; the blinding and the long search afterwards being added by the Cabinet des Fees writers?


r@rosemarylake.com








Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(3/26/05 7:06 pm)
continuing
In many versions of tales like Cupid and Psyche, the heroine is required to wear out a pair of iron shoes (ie, suffering for its own sake) because she betrayed her lover by breaking some promise to him, often causing him some misfortune. There her suffering seems part of the plot, a penance. But in Marya Morevna the bridegroom breaks a promise to his bride, causing her to be carried away by the villain, and I don't recall the groom having much passive suffering/humiliation; he just actively seeks and rescues her with the usual sort of Russian tale hero stuff.




redtriskell
Registered User
(4/3/05 10:54 pm)
Re: continuing
I haven't been on in awhile, so I missed your post, Terri. I should have included that my personal definition of "good" includes the qualities you mentioned. Wits, perseverence, cleverness are, IMHO, equally "good" traits as kindness, patience, and bravery. I might even go so far as to say that one cannot be especially brave or kind without also being clever and able to keep one's wits in a crisis...

tigermiep
Registered User
(4/5/05 7:34 pm)
Re: continuing
what about molly whuppie (as an example of a female "tailor" type)?

My fairy-tale genre understanding is pretty much all Propp-based, but i don't remember a prohibition being a necessary element. however, transgression of cultural taboo sometimes plays a part, which i suppose fits under "prohibition".

but "The Lindorm" doesn't seem to have that, as i recall. (I've only ever read it in the Pink Fairy Book)...

Crceres
Registered User
(4/5/05 10:16 pm)
Lindworm prohibition
Lindworm does have the prohibition, right at the beginning when the queen eats both rosebuds instead of one. You can look at that as a failure to remember the rule or a personal failing in self-control. In either case, it is the transgression that causes later events.

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