Over the course of the eighteenth century there is hardly another genre that provoked as many controversies, polemics, and aesthetic debates as the fairy tale did. No other form has undergone such an unprecedented transformation from being derided as a low, childish, and second-rate fiction to become the “most advanced literary venue of the period”. Moreover, it may be argued that no other genre absorbed and appropriated motifs and themes from oral storytelling tradition, combining them with elements from other genres, and in its turn has been adapted to a plethora of literary, dramatic, and art forms. This chapter traces how writers, dramatists, and critics transformed the fairy tale into one of the most successful and cosmopolitan forms that became a common point of reference and convergence of many other literary genres. It surveys the forms the marvelous took and explores the literary, dramaturgical, sociopolitical innovations and developments that the genre introduced when it was adapted into other media and forms. Although the fairy tale enjoyed enduring popularity that acquired transnational dimensions, my focus here is on France, Italy, and Russia, centers whose primacy for the fairy-tale tradition was well established. The examples discussed herein are drawn from the well- known works of the leading exponents of the fairy-tale genre that have been chosen for the resonance they produced throughout the eighteenth century.

Forms of Marvelous: The Eighteenth-Century merveilleux

Korneeva, Tatiana
2021-01-01

Abstract

Over the course of the eighteenth century there is hardly another genre that provoked as many controversies, polemics, and aesthetic debates as the fairy tale did. No other form has undergone such an unprecedented transformation from being derided as a low, childish, and second-rate fiction to become the “most advanced literary venue of the period”. Moreover, it may be argued that no other genre absorbed and appropriated motifs and themes from oral storytelling tradition, combining them with elements from other genres, and in its turn has been adapted to a plethora of literary, dramatic, and art forms. This chapter traces how writers, dramatists, and critics transformed the fairy tale into one of the most successful and cosmopolitan forms that became a common point of reference and convergence of many other literary genres. It surveys the forms the marvelous took and explores the literary, dramaturgical, sociopolitical innovations and developments that the genre introduced when it was adapted into other media and forms. Although the fairy tale enjoyed enduring popularity that acquired transnational dimensions, my focus here is on France, Italy, and Russia, centers whose primacy for the fairy-tale tradition was well established. The examples discussed herein are drawn from the well- known works of the leading exponents of the fairy-tale genre that have been chosen for the resonance they produced throughout the eighteenth century.
A Cultural History of the Fairy Tales in the Long Eighteenth-Century
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3744467
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