Briefly Noted: ‘New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories’

New Fairy Tales: Essays & Stories by John Patrick Pazdziora and Defne Çizakça (Unlocking Press – Sep 6, 2013), 456 pages

newfairytalesIs there a market for a book that mixes academic writing and stories? Normally, I wouldn’t think so outside the world of college textbooks. But this book works. Maybe it’s because so many of us who love reading fairy tales also like reading about what makes them tick.

In the introduction, the editors write,

“In New Fairy Tales, we have worked with both writers and academics, as well as with writers who are academic and academics who are writers. Fiction and critique appear within the same sections rather than separately. We hope the interplay between critical thought and aethetic practice will inspire even more new fairy tales to come to life.”

The stories an essays are divided up into five sections: Miniatures, Storytellers, Shadows and Reflections, Fairy Brides, and Fairy Tale Pedagogy. The book includes offerings from Claire Massey, Katherine Langrish, Christopher MacLachlan, Elizabeth Reeder, Joshua Richards and Kate Wolford. The thematic sections are supported with notes for readers who like following up on sources.

From the Publisher

New Fairy Tales unites critical research and creative retelling of the fairy tale tradition from the Early Modern period to the present day. Academic essays intersect with new fiction and poetry, to create a unique, polyvalent discourse. The essays discuss influential works from authors including Hans Christian Andersen, George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, J. R .R Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and Tifli. Original literary fairy tales by Katherine Langrish, Elizabeth Reeder, and others, appear alongside, discovering and re-creating the art form while as is being discussed. The result is an audacious and innovative dialogue about fairy tales and storytelling.

Interview With the Book’s Editors

In a two part interview in “Enchanted Conversation: a Fairy Tale Magazine” (posted here and here), Çizakça says  she hopes readers of the book will take away a “belief that fairy tales still contain endless possibilities for growth and innovation. That there are many different ways of writing a new fairy tale, and that there are many different traditions one can take inspiration from.”

According to Pazdziora. there’s been heightened interest in fairy tales in the English speaking world during the last two decades. “Of course there’s a long and distinguished tradition of folkloristics, and there’s been the German study, but looking at literary fairy tales both as a distinct genre and as a subgenre of children’s literature—and like it or not, it’s both those things—that’s fairly new, at least in the form it’s taking now.”

Perhaps this book will result in a follow-up anthology with an even wider representation of the world’s old and new fairy tales.

–Malcolm

emilyebookMalcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy novels, including “The Betrayed,” and fantasy short stories including the three-story set for kids and adults, “Emily’s Stories.”

Contest Winners, Saturday’s Writing Prompt, etc etc etc

  • realmccoysToday’s Writing Prompt: “Bubba, if I catch you eatin’ plastic one more time, I’m gonna tan your hide.”
  • The Real McCoys (lost episode): Luke (Richard Crenna) tells Grandpa Amos (Walter Brennan) that he dreamt of going where no man has gone before. Kate (Kathleen Nolan) overhears the conversation and accuses Luke of fantasizing about Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). Grandpa tells Luke to get the stars out of his eyes before the police show up.
  • Inspiration: Bones, by Smoky Zeidel, “Last month, as we walked along Pebble Beach in Big Sur, enjoying the roar of waves crashing on shore and marveling at the abundance of wildlife on the beach, Scott made the most intriguing find in what I refer to as a bale of kelp hay (who knows what marine biologists call it; bale seems fitting, though). He found a single vertebral bone, tangled in the detritus.”
  • Only $4.99 on Kindle (I know you can afford it!)
    Only $4.99 on Kindle (I know you can afford it!)

    Springtime Giveaway for The Seeker: Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway contest for my new contemporary fantasy novel. The winners are Cynthia, Kathy, Charmaine and Terry. Thanks for entering the giveawat!

  • Quotation: “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” ― A.A. Milne
  • Lists: 11 Neil Gaiman Quotes on Writing, by Chris Higgins – “Neil Gaiman is a prolific author spanning genres — he has hits in the worlds of comics, young adult fiction, grownup fiction, television, film, and even nonfiction (I particularly enjoyed Don’t Panic, his Douglas Adams/HHGTTG companion). Here, eleven quotes from Gaiman on writing.” Mental Floss
  • rangerlogoFrom the Oh, Well Department: Since previous posts about the USS Ranger here on Malcolm’s Round Table have gotten a lot of hits, I had high hopes for Navy to Scrap Historic Aircraft Carrier Next Year. I thought the USS Ranger Foundation, a group trying to turn the decommissioned aircraft carrier into a museum in Oregon, would see the post and explain why they appear to have given up on the project. This is one post that didn’t get any traction. To bad.
  • Words to the Wise: “A good storyteller is a person with a good memory and hopes other people haven’t.” – Irvin S. Cobb

Malcolm