Off with Their Heads
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Off with Their Heads : Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood

By (author) Maria Tatar

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When fairy tales moved from workrooms, taverns, and the fireside into the nursery, they not only lost much of their irreverent, earthy humor but were also deprived of their contestatory stance to official culture. Children's literature, Maria Tatar maintains, has always been more intent on producing docile minds than playful bodies. From its inception, it has openly endorsed a productive discipline that condemns idleness and disobedience along with most forms of social resistance.

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  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 476.27g
  • 24 Oct 1993
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0691000883
  • 9780691000886
  • 562,571

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Review quote

Winner of the 1992 Book Prize in Literature, German Studies Association "As provocative and stimulating as her The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales, this book should give a salutary shock to everyone who brings children and tales together, convincing them that "every interpretation is a rewriting' and encouraging them "to identify what is transmitted in the stories we tell children.'"--Library Journal

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Back cover copy

When fairy tales moved from workrooms, taverns, and the fireside into the nursery, they not only lost much of their irreverent, earthy humor but were also deprived of their contestatory stance to official culture. Children's literature, Maria Tatar maintains, has always been more intent on producing docile minds than playful bodies. From its inception, it has openly endorsed a productive discipline that condemns idleness and disobedience along with most forms of social resistance.

show more