French Fairy Tales

French Fairy Tales : A Jungian Approach

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Bettina L. Knapp explores the universal and eternal nature of fourteen French fairy tales, including the medieval Romance of Mélusine, Charles Perrault's seventeenth-century versions of Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard, and Jean Cocteau's film version of Beauty and the Beast. She demonstrates the relevance of these fairy tales for modern readers, both for the psychological problems they address and for the positive resolutions they offer. Through her careful examination of these tales, Knapp shows that people in past eras suffered from such supposedly "modern" problems as alienation and identity crises and went through harrowing ordeals before experiencing some sort of fulfillment. By imparting the age-old wisdom embedded in these works, French Fairy Tales triggers new insights into psychological problems and offers helpful ways of dealing with them.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 403 pages
  • 151.4 x 231.1 x 18.5mm | 539.78g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791454703
  • 9780791454701

Review quote

"Within the area of French fairy tales, I know of no other critical work with such vast chronological range. This is really a trip through the centuries as far as French or comparative literature scholars are concerned. Some of the tales chosen for discussion are original in themselves and have perhaps never been discussed, certainly never this competently: Diderot's The White Bird, Rousseau's The Fantastic Queen, Nodier's The Crumb Fairy, Gautier's Arria Marcella, George Sand's The Castle of the Crooked Peak, and Chedid's The Suspended Heart. The very discussion of these lesser-known tales comes as a happy surprise even to specialists in French literature and is a tribute to Bettina Knapp's encyclopedic erudition and in-depth knowledge of these tales. In other cases, she deals with tales we might think we know well--Perrault's, Maeterlinck's, Cocteau's, for example--but she makes us feel like we are being introduced to them for the first time, so fresh is her approach." -- Paul Archambault, author of Seven French Chroniclers: Witnesses to History
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About Bettina L. Knapp

Bettina L. Knapp is Thomas Hunter Professor at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of many books, including A Jungian Approach to Literature and three SUNY Press books: Gambling, Game, and Psyche; Women in Myth; and Women, Myth, and the Feminine Principle. She is also a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters, an honor presented by the French government.
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