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Literary Criticism Children's Literature

Fairy Tales in Popular Culture

edited by Martin Hallett & Barbara Karasek

Broadview Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2014
Children's Literature
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price

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It wasn’t so long ago that the fairy tale was comfortably settled as an established and respectable part of children’s literature. Since the fairy tale has always been a mirror of its times, however, we should not be surprised that in the latter part of the twentieth century it turned dark and ambiguous; its categorical distinction between good and evil was increasingly at odds with the times. Yet whatever changes the fairy tale may have undergone, its cultural popularity has never been greater.

Fairy Tales in Popular Culture sets out to show how the tale has been adapted to meet the needs of the contemporary world; how writers, film-makers, artists, and other communicators have found in its universality an ideal vehicle for speaking to the here-and-now; and how social media have created a participatory culture that has re-invented the fairy tale. A selection of recent retellings show how the tale is being recalibrated for the contemporary world, first through the word and then through the image.

In addition to the introductions that precede each section, the anthology provides a selection of critical pieces that offer lively insight into various aspects of the fairy tale as popular culture.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Barbara Karasek teaches at Vanier College, Montreal, Quebec.

Martin Hallett has retired from teaching and lives in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia.

They have published articles and presented seminars on folk and fairy tales and have been co-organizers of the Montreal Children’s Literature Conference.

Editorial Reviews

“The Big Bad Wolf in comics. Red Riding Hood selling lipstick. Voluptuous Goldilocks as psychopath. Think you know fairy tales? Fairy Tales in Popular Culture examines the modern metamorphosis of fairy tales by looking at them through the colourful lens of popular culture. This is a text not to be missed for those keen on understanding just how steeped today’s society is in fairy tale mystique.” — Erin Robb, Langara College

“Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek provide an exciting and timely look at the fairy tale’s triumphant return and at its ability to remain provocative among adult audiences in the digital age. Accessible, insightful, and entertaining, Hallett and Karasek’s volume highlights the subversive cultural work of timeless stories that continue to enchant us.” — Rebecca Lush, California State University San Marcos

“Hallett and Karasek clearly have their finger on the pulse of contemporary fairy-tale retellings.” — Kirsten Møllegaard, Folklore

Other titles by Martin Hallett

Other titles by Barbara Karasek