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Telling your own stories: Women, desire, and narrative in fairy tales (With special reference to the works of Angela Carter and A. S. Byatt)

Murai, Mayako; (2001) Telling your own stories: Women, desire, and narrative in fairy tales (With special reference to the works of Angela Carter and A. S. Byatt). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the implication of desire in the fairy-tale narrative and investigates the ways in which the works of Angela Carter and A. S. Byatt deal with this issue. Using a methodology which combines Freud's psychoanalytic theory with theories of narrative, this study argues that the desire which traditionally drives the fairy-tale plot is masculine, whether the protagonist be male or female. Whereas canonical fairy tales stage an Oedipal drama in which the masculine subject penetrates the feminine space in order to establish himself as Man, Carter's and Byatt's rewritings of fairy tales illustrate creatively different ways of offering alternatives to this masculine plot. This study concludes that a truly effective feminist critique of the fairy tale must take into account the desire at work in the traditional fairy-tale narrative and its inherently masculine nature, and that a truly challenging-feminist and otherwise-rewriting of fairy tales must engage in reworking this universal/masculine conception of narrative desire.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Telling your own stories: Women, desire, and narrative in fairy tales (With special reference to the works of Angela Carter and A. S. Byatt)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Social sciences; Byatt, A.S.; Carter, Angela
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100089
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