'Bluebeard', in which women are slaughtered by a monstrous husband and their bodies hidden in a horrible chamber, is the most hair-raising of tales; yet with its happy ending, it also has a utopian force. Using the idiom of literary criticism, the study considers Bluebeard texts as a seismograph of gender politics and of the process of civilization from seventeenth-century France to 1990s Germany, in a broad range of canonical and non-canonical, often forgotten texts. The study discusses Charles Perrault's French version of 1697, through Ludwig Tieck's versions of 1797 and classic versions by the Grimms and Ludwig Bechstein, to nineteenth-century romantic fiction, the savagery of High Modernism, and twentieth-century versions such as that of the Surrealist Unica Zürn.While the focus is on literature in German, this is the first full-length study published in any language of the history of Bluebeard, and it redefines the canon and our interpretations of this key tale.
`this is an exciting book that deserves to be widely read and influential, both within and beyond German studies.' Journal of European Studies `Davies also offers a virtuoso reading of the forgotten novella Blaubart (1866) by the hugely succesful writer of popular fiction, Eugenie Marlitt.' Journal of European Studies `it combines thorough scholarship with imaginative intepretation and intellectual sophistication. It is particularly impressive for the tenacity with which the author criticizes established interpretative models in the study of literature and folk-tale so as to reveal their hidden agendas; her ability to disclose the imaginative resonances of underrated texts; and the energy, directness and clarity with which she writes.' Journal of European Studies `One seldom encounters a work of literary cricicism that makes such compelling reading as this investigation of the Bluebeard motif in modern German literature.' Journal of European Studies, XXXI (2001)
Series: Oxford Modern Languages & Literature Monographs
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 1st April 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.13 x 13.26 x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.46