VI. The Importance of the Fairy Tale
VI.The Importance of the Fairy Tale
The fairy-tales are like water-flowers; they lie so lightly on the surface, but their roots go down deep into a dark and ancient past. (Travers 1999, 2002)
In 1975, P.L.Travers published a collection of five versions of “The Sleeping Beauty”, as well as her own retelling of the tale in her work About the Sleeping Beauty. Moreover, throughout her life she wrote numerous essays on folklore and myth, the majority of which were issued in the review Parabola, and later published collectedly in What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol and Story (1989). In the course of her life, Travers became more and more interested in myth and story, with the fairy tale taking up a large part of her research interest. Also, her Mary Poppins collection is embedded in the tradition of the fairy tale, as Travers inserts a number of chapters that exhibit structural as well as thematic parallels to the traditional folk tale. As a result, in order to examine the Mary Poppins stories in the light of this genre, it is indispensable to have a closer look at the fairy tale discourse.
6.1The Fairy Tale
Jack Zipes, one of the leading scholars in the field, provides us with significant insight into the fairy tale genre. He reminds us of the necessity to bear in mind the distinction between the oral fairy tale and its literary counterpart (cf. OCF xv). As literary...
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