Contemporary Fiction and the Fairy Tale by ProQuest


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									       23695_09_399-436_r3bj.qxp     11/20/09     11:22 AM        Page 430


   1              and thought-provoking reading of Heroes and Villains, one of Carter’s less often
   2              examined texts. It also offers intriguing perspectives on the importance of
   3              Winterson’s embedded fairy-tale revisions in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Fi-
   4              nally, López develops a model for examining the potentially liberating and
   5              important relations between desire and narrative in women writers’ work that
   6              is not beholden to or even strictly against patriarchal strictures, but recog-
   7              nizes story making as a utopian impulse in the struggle against multiple
   8              forms of oppression and toward a multifaceted and constantly “in process”
   9              subjectivity.
  10                   Seductions in Narrative is not merely a sexy book with a sexy title and
  11              cover; it is a book that feeds scholarly desires on its own. For, although not all
  12              of my desires and expectations were met, this book certainly offers intriguing,
  13              well-articulated reasoning toward its aims. López’s treatment of narrative, de-
  14              sire, and the fairy tale offer a place from which the discussion of these topics
  15              can, and should, develop further.
  16                                                                                   Jennifer Orme
  17                                                                                             -
                                                                     University of Hawai’i at Manoa
  19              Contemporary Fiction and the Fairy Tale. Edited by Stephen Benson. Detroit:
  20              Wayne State University Press, 2008. 209 pp.
  21                   Kevin Paul Smith opened his study The Postmodern Fairytale (2007) by
  22              quoting A. S. Byatt: “The novel in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has al-
  23              ways incorporated forms of myths and fairy tales” (On Histories and Stories,
  24              2001). Smith then relevantly noted that in the last three decades the fairy tale
  25              was no longer merely an underlying structure or a handy metaphor in novels
  26              but had become “central to the work” (1). Yet, since Cristina Bacchilega’s semi-
  27              nal Postmodern Fairy Tales in 1997, which first dealt with transformations un-
  28              dergone by fairy tales when adopted and adapted by postmodern culture, in-
  29              cluding literary texts, fairy tales have mostly been examined only in relation to
  30              a particular writer, text, or genre. But over the last two years, a few books pur-
  31              porting to embrace the large subject of fairy tales and contemporary literature
  32              have been published. Whereas Smith’s study is about the fairy tale as a con-
  33              stituent of postmodern fiction, Stephen Benson’s collection of essays in Contem-
  34              porary Fiction and the Fairy Tale stems from the belief that fairy tales are not just
  35              a key influence on contemporary fiction but that the relationship they have
  36              with fiction “is vital in our understanding of the contemporaneity of the works
  37              in question” (3). The “and” in the title is granted its full coordinative value, es-
  38              tablishing re
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