Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale
If you are like me, you try to ration out the money you spend for hardcover books. Certain authors eventually reach the “buy in new hardcover” rank for a variety of reasons. I have to admit Marina Warner is one of those for me. I do have to admit that as much as I enjoyed this book, I must conclude that if you have read her other work, you can get this one in paperback if you need to save money.
It’s not that the book is bad. It isn’t. It is a wonderful overvi ...more
However, this book takes the reader through the traditional and oral traditions of fairy tales and explains the familiar plots and characters they incorporate, as well as folklore and magic. ...more
When I saw the title, Once Upon a Time: A Short History of the Fairy Tale, I knew I had to give the book a try. I had recently finished Jack Zipes’ translation of the 1812/1215 Grimms’ Fairy Tales and had been very intrigued by the forward, in which Zipes detailed the origins and histories of the Grimms’ tales and the reason for the stories’ evolution. Because this book calls itself a history, I rather expected an expansion of this theme, a history detailing the stories’ transcriptions and a ...more
Warner definitely leans more towards analysis than pure history, but what is history anyway but multiple opinions woven into one story? I personally enjoyed the subjectiveness of the book, and there is still plenty to be learned here.
Thank you Netgalley for a free digital copy to review.
The cover is great, and yeah I did a little cover judging on this one.
The book itself, I feel, didn't quite deliver what I was hoping for. Maybe I've just read too much on the subject already due to papers I wrote in college. It was a nice little overview though, not all that different from a long term-paper. Instead of focusing on one element or going in depth on anything, it ...more
This book was alright.
It poses a question of form: when a book is sort of middling, a bit boring at times but never quite bad, certainly not in any funny or remarkable way, how do you review it without affecting the same feelings in the reader of the review?
My solution: Keep it brief.
Once Upon a Time is an overview of the history of fairy tales — the major players, the major theories, the major events. From the early, sinister folktales and the me ...more
From the tales' early collectors to today's, perhaps, misguided reimaginings, the book moves quickly along. There's no great depth to it, which is often the mark of a deeply knowledgeable author who know what to leave out of an introduction. Rather, these are quick looks at structure, transmission, tropes, uses, audiences, and basically anything to do with fairy tales.
So go back to your ch ...more
Spent 51 pages reading dumb facts about fairy tales that everyone already knows!
And what's with this lady's obsession with Angela Carter? I swear every other page her name is there!
Also, she claims to talk about fairy tales from around the world but does not mention Japan not India. All examples come from either Europe or the Arabian Nights.
I don't have time for this.
A Short History Of Fairy Tale...
The cover immediately grabbed my attention and as I wanted to know more about fairy tales anyway, and possibly read some more of them, this seemed like a good place to start.
I don't really know what to say about this book. I've been thinking about it for a more than week now, but can't figure out a lot of useful things to say. I learned that my knowledge of fairy tales is at least very limited and that t ...more
Warner’s work is detailed ...more
Didn't learn a ton, but I have many passages marked for book sugestions, and the bibliography looks like a gold mine for ideas on my next reading project.
After what's been mentioned, I do really want to return to my abandoned comparisons between the original and revised Grimms.
Individual chapters ruminate on various themes such as oral versus literary stories, the relationship between fairy tales and visual media, fairy tales and ...more
Was personally heartened by her frankness regarding Freud and Bettelheim and was pleased to see her address the topic of male heroes.
Overall this text explores the wider topic of how far we manage to keep reinventing these tale ...more
It is interesting to see that despite the cultural diversity of fairy tales there are striking similarit ...more
Warner spends time on the Grimms and Perrault primarily, but she also connects the fairy tale to modern times though the work of mod ...more
Warner lost a little credibility with me by getting the name of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum wrong (she calls him Frank L. Baum), but as a history of the Fairy tale, the book does a good job. It has to be a selective history, in this case lacking little in breadth but a lot in depth. It skims over everything. It starts slow and obvious, but b ...more
I was intrigued to see how fairy tales would be pulled apart, dissected and explained and how they had with changed with society. Different chapters touch on different themes found within them and underlying messages are pin pointed and analysed. A few times I found myself realising the old tales I know had actual deep meanings and points put across and sometimes it was quite sinister!. An interesting stud ...more
I love fairy tales, hence why I chose to read this book. The cover is absolutely beautiful and captured my attention immediately. However, the book was unsuccessful in doing so. I was expecting a story, some sort of whimsical fairy tale, even a twisted tale would have been okay. Instead, this book breaks down every angle and reason behind what happens in fairy t ...more
She is a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre at the University of Essex, and gave the Reith Lectures on the BBC in 1994 on the theme of 'Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time.'