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Modern Fairy Tales: The New Existence of an Old Genre: Exemplified by the Books of Alan A. Milne, Tove Jansson and Eno Raud
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to draw new perspectives to the theoretic approach towards the complex nature of the modern fairy tale genre and its transformation. The study is exemplified by two books by Alan A. Milne about Winnie-the-Pooh (1926-1928), Tove Jansson’s eight books about the Moomintrolls (1945-1970) and Eno Raud’s four books about three funny creatures called “Nakstitrallid” in Estonian (1972-1982).

In this thesis, I examine the disputable problem of defining the fairy tale genre in modern literature and refer to the history of the genre and storytelling tradition that have indirectly inspired all three authors in their decision to turn for fairy tale as a genre. Applying the poetical analysis, I argue that these authors contributed to the continuity of fairy tales by creating the link between folkloric heritage, novelistic literary expression and children’s imagination. This study can therefore be considered as topological, however it does not pretend to introduce the complete systematic definition of the genre as the thesis’ format does not allow such in-depth investigation.

In the first chapter, ‘Archaic world stimulation in modern fairy tale’, I examine the dominating literary categories that refer to the folk fairy tale intertext: Bakhtin’s concept of ‘chronotope’ – category of time and space, system of fictional allegoric characters and category of fantastic. 

In the second chapter, ‘Modern fairy tales from perspective of children’s literature’, I analyze the books of Milne, Jansson and Raud in the scope of narratological and aesthetic categories of children’s literature. The folkloric laughter intertextually reproduced by naïvism of the Moomins, the Naksitralls, and Winnie-the-Pooh’s friends, while folkloric collective hero is presented by universal harmony of a happy family and child-like protagonists.

I came to the conclusion that poetics of folklore fairy tale still exists in these books through the intertextual dialogue. Modernism as literary method re-evaluates folkloric aspects such as nonlinear time, the blurred boarders between individual and cosmos, material and spirit, text and reality. Every new artistically unique fairy tale world resembles the new stage of the genre development. The more innovative is the story, the more sophisticated can be its poetics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , p. 71
Keywords [en]
children's literature, literary fairy-tale, modernism, poetics, semiotics, folkloristics, myth, mytho-logic, archaic intertext, memory of the genre, fantasy, chronotope, A.A. Milne, Tove Jansson, Eno Raud, Elezar Meetinsky, Michail Bakhtin, Yuri Lotman, Vladimir Propp, Bruno Bettelheim
Keywords [sv]
barnlitteratur, saga, konstsaga, folkloristik, semiotik, myt, intertextualitet, poetik
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151238OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151238DiVA, id: diva2:1172752
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Available from: 2018-01-15 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-01-15Bibliographically approved

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