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Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales Paperback – July 5, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0813190303 ISBN-10: 0813190304 Edition: 2 Rev Exp

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky; 2 Rev Exp edition (July 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813190304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813190303
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A stimulating contribution to the critical literature of folk and fairy tales." -- Children's Literature Association Quarterly



"The name Jack Zipes is synonymous with highly regarded and widely read anthologies and critiques of fairy tales." -- Choice



"All libraries should acquire this new edition of one of the most influential texts in the field." -- Choice



"Fairy Tales are a highly fashionable study today for literary scholars as well as folklorists, and another new book shows what a range of interest can be evoked by them. This time in Jack Zipes' interesting and vigorous study." -- Encounter



"Zipes reveals the extraordinary breadth of his acquaintance with both recent and classic literature in the field of folk and fairytale research." -- Fabula



"Zipes manages the impressive trick of communicating both detail and overview without simplifying either... the serious folklorist should should defnitely have this on his bookshelf." -- Fortean Times



"Zipes ably demonstrates that moral, political, religious, and other ideologies have shaped these apparently innocent narratives." -- Lore and Language



"This problematic, provocative study will undoubtedly provide stimulating reading for many audiences." -- Romantic Movement



"Zipes has written a stimulating and important contribution to the sociology of popular literature." -- Sociological Review



"Places traditional tales in their socio-political, economic and cultural contexts." -- Teacher Librarian



"Folklorists, educators and historians will particularly find this resource to be valuable. But educators and parents will also find Zipes's ideas intriguing." -- Elizabeth Herron, Folks and Fairies in Action (resourcecenterblog.wordpress.com)

About the Author

Jack Zipes, professor of German and director of the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota, is the author of many books on folk and fairy tales, including Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale. He lives in Minneapolis.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Julia Starkey on April 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I really love Jack Zipes, and this is one of his helpful books for folklorists, and amateurs who enjoy reading fairy tales. It presents a variety of 'radical' theories about the meaning and construction of fairy tales. Many of the theories are no longer quite so radical. The book also gives you a good overview of feminist theories about the tales, some of which will surprise. Among other things, that fairy tales are not always about the subjugation of silly blond princesses. I reccomend this book as an intro to folk and fairy tale theory.
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Format: Paperback
The book was originally published in 1979, with this new edition coming along in 2002. The feminist interpretations of fairy tales have gained a lot of attention since the book appeared (see most any Angela Carter, my personal choice is The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman) and it would be hard to consider that radical today. Still, the discussion of latent fascism ("Might makes right") and Utopian idealism are excellent and thought provoking. The book was originally written at least in part a response to the popularity (late 1960s and early 1970s) of Tolkien and Narnia. The update adds in Harry Potter and reconnects us to popularity of the folk tale in mass market literature.

"In Pittsburgh, PA, a burglar lost his shoe as he fled from the home of Mrs. M., age 43. Patrolmen arrested R.T., age 20, who was sitting shoeless in a nearby bar. Authorities said a shoe matching the one found in the M. home was discovered behind the bar." - Winnipeg Free Press, April 14, 1972

Cinderella is all around us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Becca on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I could find more books like this, with critical commentary on the development of fairy tales.

Unfortunately, the author is a professor of German, and uses a lot of German terms without necessarily translating them, which got confusing for this non-German speaking reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen on August 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really disappointed by this e-book. I found the style of presentation and the way the content was presented really detracted from what I usually find to be very interesting themes.

I think that there are other books of Zipes' that cover this material in a much clearer and appealing way, such as 'The Irresistible Fairy Tale'.
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