Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned 

fairy-tales-for-the-disillusionedA new book of fairy tales is now available, entitled Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition. Edited by Gretchen Schultz & Lewis Seifert and published by Princeton University Press, this volume:

“collects thirty-six tales, many newly translated, by writers associated with the decadent literary movement, which flourished in France in the late nineteenth century. Written by such creative luminaries as Charles Baudelaire, Anatole France, and Guillaume Apollinaire, these enchanting yet troubling stories reflect the concerns and fascinations of a time of great political, social, and cultural change. Recasting well-known favorites from classic French fairy tales, as well as Arthurian legends and English and German tales, the updated interpretations in this collection allow for more perverse settings and disillusioned perspectives—a trademark style and ethos of the decadent tradition.”

You can read more about this over at Princeton University Press’s website. A review by Alison Flood appears in The Guardian and which reproduces a portion of Schultz and Seifert’s introduction to the book that makes reference to Angela Carter, who also translated and reworked fairy tales:

“Nearly a century before postmodern fairytales by Margaret Atwood, AS Byatt, Angela Carter and others upend fairytale stereotypes about gender and sexuality, decadent writers created female characters unlike the virginal beauties of the classic tales, and exposed the romantic myths associated with the genre”.

Gretchen Schultz is professor of French studies at Brown University. Her recent books include Sapphic Fathers: Discourses of Same-Sex Desire from Nineteenth-Century France and An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry from France. Lewis Seifert is professor of French studies at Brown University. He is the author of Fairy Tales, Sexuality, and Gender in France, 1690–1715 and Manning the Margins: Masculinity and Writing in Seventeenth-Century France.


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