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Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition
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Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition

(Oddly Modern Fairy Tales)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The wolf is tricked by Red Riding Hood into strangling her grandmother and is subsequently arrested. Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella do not live happily ever after. And the fairies are saucy, angry, and capricious. Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned collects thirty-six tales, many newly translated, by writers associated with the decadent literary movement, which flourished i ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Princeton University Press (first published October 17th 2016)
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3.46  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Althea Ann
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
*** Charles Baudelaire - Fairies' Gifts
Less a story than a fictional anecdote leading to a witty epigram; I have a feeling this was included in order to start off with a well-known writer.
The fairies have gathered to hand out 'gifts' and blessings to a bevy of newborns - but one father is disgruntled when it seems his son has been left out...

** Alphonse Daudet - The Fairies of France
Brief screed against science and social progress, blaming 'rational thought' for 'killing the fairies.'
Can't say
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
My thanks to NetGalley and Princeton University Press for and eARC copy of this book to read and review.

This book was not a good fit for me right now. I just experienced a loss in my life and this book is rather on the dark and depressing side.

With that in mind, here is my review of the first 50%. I didn't finish it all, I was struggling to pick it up and was not looking forward to doing so, so I decided to put this one down for now.

The stories were VERY French. Very surreal, mystical, sometime
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: let-s-get-high
This is a sublime compilation of dread-filled decadant-era fairytales told by French writers like Baudelaire, Rachilde, Daudet, and Apollinaire. Amazing findings; one can only imagine how difficult it was to compile these stories, given that many are out of print even in the original French.

Here in decadent fairyland, we explore stories where Sleeping Beauty is not cursed to sleep at sixteen, but is cursed to become a man on her wedding night; where embroidered princesses are killed by a mouse;
Nicki Markus
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned is an entertaining read that transforms familiar stories and shows them in a new light. Some of my personal favourites included one story in which fairy tale villains make a case for their innocence, and another in which Bluebeard is shown to be the victim of a series of awful wives. Although certain stories appealed to me more than others, their diversity means there should be something to please everyone. Recommended for readers who enjoy a little twist to the ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disillusioned indeed. Fascinating premise, but Angela Carter does this better.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, did-not-finish
These stories are snarky and clever with a modern exhaustion about them. I only put it on my did not finish shelf because it needed to go back to the library. I will be getting a copy for myself and the many fairy tale lovers in my life.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
Twisted versions of fairytales that definitely fit my mood! Entertaining but a little gets lost in translation.
Bill Wallace
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Imagine if Jay Ward had employed writers like Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Marcel Schwob, and Claude Cahun to write his Fractured Fairy Tales and you will be very close to some of the stories in this fine book. The 19th Century mania for fairy tales was part of the surge of nationalism and the quest for folk roots in Europe and the republication of Perrault and Grimm was a sort of by-product of Romanticism. Of course, by the late years of the century and the time of the rise of the French Symbolists ...more
Twinkle / Haf (I don't review, I react)
This book review is for the ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love this collection with every piece of my being. I am a big fan of fairy tales, but sometimes we all get sick of the happy-ever-afters. And this collection of tales is perfect for our twisted little hearts. This collection of fairy tales involved tales of fairies that act like crazy old ladies, of sleeping maidens who would rather stay in a dream-filled sleep rather than be awake and live in reality, of c
Annette Jordan
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, fairy-tales, fiction
A fascinating little collection for fans of the traditional fairy tale genre, this book pulls together a diverse range of classic french fairy tales, but versions which you probably haven't read before. The translated stories retain the linguistic magic of the original versions, and read like classic tales , but tales with a twist, where Sleeping Beauty does not wish to wake up, or Cinderella is a masochist willing to con a Prince with a foot fetish into marriage. Many of the stories have politi ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a robust collection of fairy tales from the French decadent tradition, showcasing a variety of authors, themes, and classic characters. The translations are very readable, and the tales lend themselves easily to discussion, particularly those that adapt or are otherwise "in conversation" with classic tales and figures, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Bluebeard. While the editors had a decidedly academic bent in compiling these particular tales, generalists and pleasure readers w ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I took a class on fairy tales last semester, so I really looked forward to reading this. I liked most of the tales, but I mostly preferred the retellings of the traditional fairy tales, especially the retelling of Bluebeard towards the end of the book. Some of the tales had too modern twists for my taste, but you can just skip those.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Not quite finished (b/c of distractions) but an immensely enjoyable read of the various stories created late 19/early 20th century of "fairy" tales which are not quite HEA (or even HFN)

Lots of variations of the (children's) accepted stories; some 'ugh' stuff; others 'hmm?'

Good enough to browse and re-read time and again :)
VERDICT: Remarkable anthology of famous fairy tales as reinterpreted by French authors of the Decadent movement. Fascinating and very enjoyable example of comparative literature at its best.

My full detailed review is here:
Yi An
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not as good as I expected...
The collection may be trying to express the complaint about mythology system being crashed by modern-day's tech, moral standards and so on, trying to tell people old time is better then now.
Katherine Spivey
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had no idea of this tradition!
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy fairy tale retellings especially like these where the ending is not always happy or the prince charming. I think my favorite is a Sleeping Beauty one where she really does not want to wake up.
Eileen Hall
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!
A masterful retelling of well known fairy stories, but given a subversive twist!
Not to be read to your little ones though!!
Very highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Princeton University Press via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.
Robert Berman
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Feb 05, 2017
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Nov 15, 2016
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Mar 04, 2018
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Jun 27, 2017
BT Robinson
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Feb 01, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 06, 2017
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Sep 25, 2017
Lakis Fourouklas
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Nov 11, 2016
Molly Rookwood
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Jul 10, 2019
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