The Cambridge Companion to Fairy Tales

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Fairy tales have never known geographical, disciplinary or cultural borders. In many ways, they provide a model for thinking about storytelling on a transnational level long before comparative literature began transforming itself into world literature. As the simple expression of complex thought, fairy tales have increasingly become the focus of intense scholarly inquiry. In this Companion, international scholars from a range of academic disciplines explore the historical origins, cultural dissemination and psychological power of fairy stories, and offer model interpretations of tales from a variety of traditions and sources, including Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and the One Thousand and One Nights. Rather than disenchanting the stories, the essays in this volume broaden our understanding of them and deepen our appreciation of the cultural work they do. A chronology and guide to further reading contribute to the usefulness of the volume for students and scholars.