New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories, Reviewed by Rebecca McLean

Posted by Dale Townshend on October 22, 2013 in Reviews tagged with

New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories from Unlocking Press, edited by John Patrick Pazdziora and Defne Cizakca, is an exciting and innovative collection of academic essays alongside creative pieces of writing. Pazdziora and Cizakca have organised the collection into five thematically based sections: Miniatures, Storytellers, Shadows and Reflections, Fairy Brides, and Fairy Tale Pedagogy. The structure of the book invites the reader to reassess their approach to creative writing and academic study of fairy tales by placing academic pieces alongside the new writing. This collection inspires the reader not only to creatively engage with academic articles but also to academically engage with creative writing, by doing so the developing field of new fairy tales is further opened to the reader. The collection provides a new and invigorated approach to academic and creative writing on the subject, revealing the scope of a field that can at times feel dominated by classic tales by showcasing some of the new directions that fairy tales can take. There is a focus upon the global nature of the fairy tale; work is examined from Israel, Turkey, Taiwan, and Japan alongside discussion of traditional western works by Oscar Wilde, George MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien. The spectre of the Gothic lingers in almost all of the academic chapters and is firmly visible in the creative work: of particular note is Joshua Richard’s poem ‘Dante’ which features a strongly Gothic landscape and thematic framework as Richard discusses in his chapter ‘A Gothic Fairy-Bride and the Fall: A Lecture on “The End of the World” in Kenjiro Hara’s Hayate No Gotoku’. What becomes apparent within the collection is just how close these new fairy tales come to the realm of the Gothic. This is a conjunction which is surely worth further academic consideration.

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