When exactly is “once upon a time,” what does it mean to live “happily ever after,” and how do these tropes from childhood storybooks find their way into so much contemporary literature and film? These traditional frames for fairytales are just one of the aspects we’ll study in this Delve; we will examine other aspects of structure, characters, and motifs of folktales, both in collected oral tales and literary retellings of those same tales over time, into the current day. We will analyze these stories in various contexts to discover their shifting messages, paying close attention to how they have been used for enculturation, and how their historical values linger today. We will explore the roles of teller and audience, asking how societal norms are both maintained and shifted through such communication.
In addition to classic tales recorded or rewritten by The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and others, we will read contemporary literary authors, such as Angela Carter and Neil Gaiman, and scholarly authors including Maria Tatar, Bruno Bettelheim, Jack Zipes, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, and others. We will also work with The Bluebeard Oracle Deck (by Delve guide Coleman Stevenson) as a tool for studying tale variations and for crafting our own stories.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar
Collected oral and historical tales (available online with links to be given each week)
Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Our Access Program offers Delve seminar registrations at a sliding scale amount of $45-$100 per registration. Most Delves have at least one access spot available. Contact Susan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate