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Zipes on Stockton, Baum

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  • David Lenander
    I am reading Jack Zipes s latest book on fairy tales, _Why Fairy Tales Stick_, [NY:Routledge, 2006] which may be his best yet. (He s modified some of his
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 14, 2007
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      I am reading Jack Zipes's latest book on fairy tales, _Why Fairy
      Tales Stick_, [NY:Routledge, 2006] which may be his best yet. (He's
      modified some of his earlier views, and plays with some newer and
      interesting ideas). From chapter two:

      The major writer of this time [late 19th C., in the U.S.] was Frank
      Stockton, who published some unusual book tales like _Ting-a-ling_
      (1871) . . . . While the European fairy tales served as models for
      the American writers, there was clearly a movement to "Americanize"
      and establish a genuine *American* literature.

      It is not by chance that the most notable and memorable American
      fairy tale was produced right at the end of the nineteenth century:
      L. Frank Baum's _The Wizard of Oz_ (1900), clearly based on the
      European fairy tale structure, . . . . Though Dorothy returns to
      America, she realizes in the sixth book, _The Emerald City of Oz_,
      that she cannot stay in a country where farmers are driven to ruin by
      bankers, and exploitation is accepted as "the American way of life."
      Baum's creation of fourteen Oz books, considered an American fairy
      tale saga, is a political and cultural commentary with profound
      ramifications for the eventual development of the fairy tale as a
      genre. In fact, Baum set the stage for other fairy tale novels such
      as those by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, T.H. White and Michael Ende.
      Even Salmon Rushdie, author of _Haroun and the Sea of Stories_
      (1990), has often paid tribute to _The Wizard of Oz_, and numerous
      books and films continue the Oz tradition through the twenty-first
      century.

      (pp. 87-88)


      David Lenander
      d-lena@...
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113

      651-292-8887
      http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html




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    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... American ... the ... to ... Oz_, ... ruin by ... life. ... fairy ... Does Zipes realize that the Oz-as-political-fable business is an urban legend with
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Lenander <d-lena@...>
        wrote:

        >
        > It is not by chance that the most notable and memorable
        American
        > fairy tale was produced right at the end of the nineteenth
        century:
        > L. Frank Baum's _The Wizard of Oz_ (1900), clearly based on
        the
        > European fairy tale structure, . . . . Though Dorothy returns
        to
        > America, she realizes in the sixth book, _The Emerald City of
        Oz_,
        > that she cannot stay in a country where farmers are driven to
        ruin by
        > bankers, and exploitation is accepted as "the American way of
        life."
        > Baum's creation of fourteen Oz books, considered an American
        fairy
        > tale saga, is a political and cultural commentary


        Does Zipes realize that the Oz-as-political-fable business is an
        urban legend with very traceable roots? I find it very unlikely
        that the arch-Republican Baum would have intended anything like
        what Zipes reads into him. Then again, I seriously doubt most
        authors intended the political content modern litcrit reads into
        them.
      • Merlin DeTardo
        Ah, but don t many modern litarary critics dismiss an author s intentions as unimportant? As suggested, for example, in this wikipedia entry on intentional
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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          Ah, but don't many modern litarary critics dismiss an author's
          intentions as unimportant? As suggested, for example, in this
          wikipedia entry on "intentional fallacy"?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_fallacy

          And here's some blogging on the subject by Richard Scott Nokes in
          what started as a discussion of Tolkien (regarding his use of the
          word "weapontake"):

          http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/11/intentionally-
          omitted.html

          http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/11/intention-what-did-he-
          know-and-when.html

          -Merlin DeTardo


          >---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
          >Then again, I seriously doubt most authors intended the political
          content modern litcrit reads into them.
        • William Cloud Hicklin
          ... in ... the ... did-he- ... Quite so- but many modern literary critics are full of garden fertilizer. Personally, I ll stick with old-fashioned authors
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Ah, but don't many modern litarary critics dismiss an author's
            > intentions as unimportant? As suggested, for example, in this
            > wikipedia entry on "intentional fallacy"?
            >
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_fallacy
            >
            > And here's some blogging on the subject by Richard Scott Nokes
            in
            > what started as a discussion of Tolkien (regarding his use of
            the
            > word "weapontake"):
            >
            > http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/11/intentionally-
            > omitted.html
            >
            > http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/11/intention-what-
            did-he-
            > know-and-when.html
            >


            Quite so- but "many modern literary critics" are full of garden
            fertilizer. Personally, I'll stick with old-fashioned "authors"
            as opposed to deterministic "author functions."
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