[DWJ] Mermaids^Wmer-people (was HP)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Tue May 15 14:07:46 EDT 2007

On Tue, 15 May 2007, Farah Mendlesohn wrote:
> You know, apart from the fun to be had subverting them, I cannot for the
> life of me  think why children need to learn stereotypes. They are after all
> not innate to children, they are something adults impose.

I have an aborted project on this about fractured fairy tales and
feminist retellings.  My thought process goes something like:

- fairy tales are full of terrible gender stereotypes

- feminist retellings, from Donna Jo Napoli to Judith Viorst, are
   hugely powerful in reshaping thought

- without exposure to the problematic originals, where is the joy
   and empowerment in the retellings?

It's like modern readers' problems with Northanger Abbey; absent
the Gothic pulp tradtion being mocked, can the book be really

(I don't have an answer to this.  Just questions.)

"I assume that some great catastrophe has occured that would
require us to sit upon a weeping lady?"
 	-- Loveday the butler, _Lady Dangerous_

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