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Delve Online Fall 2020: Fairytales Retold

September 23 - October 28, 2020
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time (six sessions)
online via Zoom

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.

Required texts:

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar

The Bluebeard Oracle Deck by Coleman Stevenson


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 susan@literary-arts.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate

Coleman Stevenson

Coleman Stevenson is the author of Breakfast, The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609, The Dark Exact Tarot Guide, and a book of essays accompanying the card game Metaphysik. Her latest collection of poems is Light Sleeper. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications such as Seattle Review, Mid-American Review, Louisiana Literature, tarot.com, and the anthology Motionless from the Iron Bridge. In addition to her work as a designer of tarot and oracle decks through her company The Dark Exact, her fine art work, exhibited in galleries around the Pacific Northwest, focuses on the intersections between image and text. She has been a guest curator for various gallery spaces in the Portland, Oregon, area, and has taught poetry, design theory, and cultural studies at a number of different institutions there.
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