Folktales Retold

A Critical Overview of Stories Updated for Children


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About the Book

Folktales and fairy tales are living stories; as part of the oral tradition, they change and evolve as they are retold from generation to generation. In the last thirty years, however, revision has become an art form of its own, with tales intentionally revised to achieve humorous effect, send political messages, add different cultural or regional elements, try out new narrative voices, and more. These revisions take all forms, from short stories to novel-length narratives to poems, plays, musicals, films and advertisements. The resulting tales paint the tales from myriad perspectives, using the broad palette of human creativity.
This study examines folktale revisions from many angles, drawing on examples primarily from revisions of Western European traditional tales, such as those of the Grimm Brothers and Charles Perrault. Also discussed are new folktales that combine traditional storylines with commentary on modern life. The conclusion considers how revisionists poke fun at and struggle to understand stories that sometimes made little sense to start with.

About the Author(s)

Amie A. Doughty is an associate professor of English at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. She is a member of the Popular Culture and Children’s Literature associations and lives in Oneonta.

Bibliographic Details

Amie A. Doughty
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2591-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8046-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      xi

Introduction: Unraveling the Folktale Tradition      1

1. The Folktale Revision as a Form      7

2. Humor in Folktale Revisions      15

3. Cultural and Regional Folktale Revisions in Picture Books      36

4. Breaking the Picture Book Rules      52

5. Feminist Folktale Revisions      65

6. Postmodern Folktale Revisions      80

7. Narrative in Folktale Revisions      94

8. Folktale Revisions on Film      115

9. Revising the Folktale Tradition      129

10. The Adult Connection      144

Conclusion: Reweaving the Folktale Tradition      163

Notes      167

Bibliography      173

Index      199

Book Reviews & Awards

“a good reference”—Children’s Literature Association Quarterly; “excellent”—SFRA Review.