Monday, February 16, 2015

Your Fairytale Club Membership Has Been Denied

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz are not fairytales. I can't go a year without running into a novel retelling for each of these. Fairytale franchises, like the TV show Once Upon A Time, have no qualms about lopping them in with legitimate stories Rumpelstiltskin or Snow White. But that doesn't mean they belong in that category.
Second Star
They are novels with fantastic elements that have entered the public domain. When the copyrights on Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings have expired, people will retell them, too.
Fairytales are folk stories that existed in multiple version across different cultures and generations. Rapunzel. Cinderella. Hansel and Gretel. A fairytale isn't simply a story that is retold, it's a story that was retold before someone settled on an official version. We can get into some gray territory with this. Perrault and the Grimms collected stories, but Hans Christian Anderson whipped them up from scratch, and he was writing around the same time as Lewis Carroll. I'm not sure if it's a matter of length, originality, or copyright, but I've always been squeamish about labeling them as fairytales.
We can call them retellings, like Jane Austen and Shakespeare adaptations, but magic elements doesn't equal fairytale.

No comments:

Post a Comment