Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014 12:14 am by M. in , ,    No comments
More recent (or not so recent but never previously reported on this blog) Brontë scholar works:
Anti-Tales. The Uses of Disenchantment
Editor(s): Catriona McAra and David Calvin
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2869-7

The anti-(fairy) tale has long existed in the shadow of the traditional fairy tale as its flipside or evil twin. According to André Jolles in Einfache Formen (1930), such Antimärchen are contemporaneous with some of the earliest known oral variants of familiar tales. While fairy tales are generally characterised by a “spirit of optimism” (Tolkien) the anti-tale offers us no such assurances; for every “happily ever after,” there is a dissenting “they all died horribly.” The anti-tale is, however, rarely an outright opposition to the traditional form itself. Inasmuch as the anti-hero is not a villain, but may possess attributes of the hero, the anti-tale appropriates aspects of the fairy tale form, (and its equivalent genres) and re-imagines, subverts, inverts, deconstructs or satirises elements of these to present an alternate narrative interpretation, outcome or morality. In this collection, Little Red Riding Hood retaliates against the wolf, Cinderella’s stepmother provides her own account of events, and “Snow White” evolves into a postmodern vampire tale. The familiar becomes unfamiliar, revealing the underlying structures, dynamics, fractures and contradictions within the borrowed tales. Over the last half century, this dissident tradition has become increasingly popular, inspiring numerous writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. Although anti-tales abound in contemporary art and popular culture, the term has been used sporadically in scholarship without being developed or defined. While it is clear that the aesthetics of postmodernism have provided fertile creative grounds for this tradition, the anti-tale is not just a postmodern phenomenon; rather, the “postmodern fairy tale” is only part of the picture. Broadly interdisciplinary in scope, this collection of twenty-two essays and artwork explores various manifestations of the anti-tale, from the ancient to the modern including romanticism, realism and surrealism along the way.
Includes Paula Rego, Jane Eyre and the Re-Enchantment of Bluebeard by Helen Stoddart.
The Rosamond Plots: Alterity and the Unknown in Jane Eyre and Middlemarch
Rebecca N. Mitchell
Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 66, No. 3, December 2011 (pp. 307-327)

In both Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) and George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871–72) an earnest and ambitious man falls in love with a superficial and beautiful woman named Rosamond. This essay explores the “Rosamond plots” to argue that Middlemarch stages a radical revision of the version of subjectivity vaunted in Jane Eyre. Via its invocation of Jane Eyre’s Rosamond plot, Middlemarch challenges the very nature of self-knowledge, questions the status of identification in intersubjective relationships, and insists upon the unknowability of the other. In Eliot’s retelling, the self-awareness promoted in Jane Eyre is not only insufficient, but also verges on self-absorption and even solipsism. One way in which Eliot enacts this revision is by shifting the focus of positive affective relationships away from models of identification. The change marks an evolution in our understanding of the way in which character and communal life is conceived by each author. More specifically, Eliot’s revisions situate empathic response as being dependent upon the recognition of the radical alterity of the other.
Heroes, Monsters, Freedom and Bondage: Inclusion, Exclusion and Autonomy in Une tempête, Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Paula K. Sato Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 38.1 (2011) 94-105

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