By Jack Zipes
This revised, elevated, and up-to-date version of the 1979 landmark Breaking the Magic Spell examines the long-lasting energy of fairy stories and the methods they invade our subjective international. In seven provocative essays, Zipes discusses the significance of investigating oral folks stories of their socio-political context and strains their evolution into literary fairy stories, a change that frequently reduced the ideology of the unique narrative. Zipes additionally appears at how people stories impression our well known ideals and the methods they've been exploited by way of a company media community cause on regulating the paranormal components of the tales. He examines various authors, together with the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Ernst Bloch, Tolkien, Bettelheim, and J.K. Rowling to illustrate the ongoing symbiotic courting among folklore and literature.
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Additional info for Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales
It compels assent in an inattentive mind because of its 'obvious' common sense, indeed its banality: no knowledge can be the same thing as its object. How true! And we could set up an epistemological Mint, to coin epigrams of the same order. ' (One could recommend this as a mental distraction during boring railway journeys). Even so, the terms of this banal epigram have been loaded to trick us into a false conclusion. In the first clause ('history. historical') we are deliberately pitched into an ambiguity: for 'historical' may mean appertaining to real historical events or evidence, or it may mean appertaining to the historical discipline (the knowledge of history).
M. 246) And, just so, over 350 years ago, a philosopher arguing from an opposite brief, declared: For us, God is not a theoretical slogan; God is the First Cause who exists independently of our knowledge, etc. ' The argument did not prevent Francis Bacon from being accused as a secret atheist, and Althusser should not be surprised at being accused of dissolving reality in an idealist fiction. For this pious and necessary gesture once made (as a kind of genetic a priori, an 'in the last instance' proviso), the 'real' is shuffled quickly off the scene.
And we must develop ever more refined, value-free, and preferably quantitative empirical techniques to enable these facts to disclose themselves as in fact they took place. ' The exalted Marxist structuralist says: 'Goodbye! Your procedures bore me. ' But the curious thing is that, walking off in opposite directions, they end up in much the same place. We will see how this occurs. ' And (we recall) he explicitly nominates historical materialism as one such science. ' 34 The gesture is indistinct; the "experiments" are not identified; the criteria of success or failure go unspecified; the tone suggests that such "experiments" are pertinent but inessential; and there is no suggestion that they could determine, in any respect, the 'internal development' of theory.
Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes