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Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization
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Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The fairy tale may be one of the most important cultural and social influences on children's lives. But until Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, little attention had been paid to the ways in which the writers and collectors of tales used traditional forms and genres in order to shape children's lives their behavior, values, and relationship to society. As Jack Zipes co ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Routledge (first published January 1st 1983)
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Bettie
Fascinating book. While I will always be a fan of The Uses of Enchantment I was never down with the Freudian rationale (I know, I know, the Freud shit practically is the book, but there are also some good summaries and apt observations, and it was the book that got me back into fairy tales after I thought I'd outgrown them). I especially appreciate the way Zipes contrasts various versions of the French fairy tales with their folk tale precursors, and how his analysis is based on the historical, ...more
Jamie
Finally made it through this book, after setting it down and picking it up again throughout the semester. While I think the other Zipes book I've read--Fairy Tale as Myth, Myth as Fairy Tale--was a more accessible and quicker read, this is going to prove invaluable to my thesis research. Some of the chapters got a little bogged down--particularly the Hans Christian Andersen chapter about Zipes discourse of the dominated theory (which I felt could have been articulated with far fewer words)--but ...more
Jean
I was surprised to find this book . . . a page-turner! Okay, since I love all things fairy tale, maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. Still, it's been awhile since I read anything remotely academic (I'm ashamed to say), and this was a nice, smooth way to re-enter the realm of real thinking.

Zipes did something to me that I always appreciate in an author: made me angry. He got me all riled up about the way literary writers of fairy tales tried to write women into submission. Ah! I just wante
...more
Kate
Feb 21, 2014 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
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The introduction is a stultifying morass of subject-specific technical jargon; thankfully, Zipes eases up some in the following chapters.

The biographical aspects were the most interesting part of the book to me: Zipes describes the lives of many of the writers/transcribers of fairy tales, such as Hans Christian Andersen and the women of the French salons, though by the final chapter on Walt Disney the arguments re: the psychological motivations of the writers and creators gets borderline scurril
...more
Jordan Taylor- Jones
Really enjoyed this book. A brilliant reference for my presentation and essay on fairy tales etc etc. I'm sure i'll keep dipping into this from time to time !
Saroon
now i'm thinking why didn't i do my thesis on fairy tales? one day enshalla i'll write a paper or two on fairy tales. such a rich & interesting topic!
Erin
Relied heavily on this book for my thesis. It's a fascinating read, as are all his books.
Ilana
I really admire the depth of knowledge Zipes has on fairy tales and their history, but sometimes I feel like he assumes I have an academic background I do not. Despite the fact that some of this book was VERY hard to get through (mostly the first chapter), I really did enjoy it, and feel like I know a lot more about the authors who's stories I grew up reading.

Sidenote: Does anyone else feel like Oscar Wilde has a lot in common with Lady Gaga? No, I'm serious.
Jeffrey
Sometimes Zipes is so damn good and then he misreads things in such a peculiar way that you just marvel in incredulity that he can be so dense - his take on Andersen is mean-spirited and makes me wonder hoiw much of a Marxist he really is and that he takes Hoffman's Struwwelpeter as a serious series of cautionary tales (and then later Fallada's imitations) is very odd indeed - but that said, when he is on - marvellous!
Sara
Another invaluable source for fairy tale analysis. I only read excerpts for a paper I wrote, but I've read other Zipes' works, and I think they are all essential reads if you have a deeper interest in fairy tale studies.
Danelley
an interesting read and lots of historical context. You can tell this author did his research, although you may not agree with a lot of his conclusions.
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Jack David Zipes is an American retired Professor of German at the University of Minnesota, who has published and lectured on the subject of fairy tales, their linguistic roots, and argued that they have a "socialization function". According to Zipes, fairy tales "serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales r ...more
More about Jack Zipes...
Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales

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