Authored by: Francisco Vaz da Silva

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter suggests that the core of fairy tales is enchantment, which is ruled by cyclic time. The discussion examines a transmedial string of variants of “The Maiden in the Tower” (ATU 310) and “Sleeping Beauty” (ATU 410)—stories about the fate of girls in tower enclosures, suspended between heaven and earth—and shows ambivalent fairies in the business of helping girls come of age. As cloistered maidens spin a spindle, they cycle along with the moon; as girls prick a finger, they mark with blood the thread of their lives. Cyclic time, which straddles opposites, breeds hybridity.

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