A. S. Byatt has written texts that may be classified as fairy tales but - true to the purpose of the collection - rather than engaging directly with tales in Elementis (1998) and The Little Black Book of Stories (2003), Elizabeth Wanning Harries, the author of Twice Upon a Time (2001), concentrates on the significance of the novelist's obsession with the fairy tale for her "overall conception of narrative and her fictional strategies" (75): Byatt's main interest in fairy tales lies indeed in their recurring patterns "and the narrative shapes that make these patterns visible" (89) rather than in what they say. [...] Bacchilega stimulatingly open-ends the volume with her idea that having been "renovated" by the Carter generation, the fairy tale should not be seen in terms of continuity but "can now be approached as a text or web of possibilities," one that the "post-Carter generation - can continue to expand and shape, weaving new problems, desires, and voices in and out of it" (195).
23695_09_399-436_r3bj.qxp 11/20/09 11:22 AM Page 430 REVIEWS 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 18 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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