By Veronica L. Schanoes

Even as that Seventies feminist psychoanalytic theorists like Jean Baker Miller and Nancy Chodorow have been difficult past types that assumed the masculine psyche because the norm for human improvement and mental/emotional overall healthiness, writers corresponding to Anne Sexton, Olga Broumass, and Angela Carter have been launched into their very own revisionist undertaking to respire new existence into fairy stories and classical myths in keeping with conventional gender roles. equally, within the Nineties, second-wave feminist clinicians endured the paintings started through Chodorow and Miller, whereas writers of myth that come with Terry Windling, Tanith Lee, Terry Pratchett, and Catherynne M. Valente took their notion from revisionist authors of the Seventies. As Schanoes exhibits, those 20 years have been either really fruitful eras for artists and psychoanalytic theorists inquisitive about concerns with regards to the improvement of women's feel of self. placing apart the restrictions of either lines of feminist psychoanalytic conception, their impression is indisputable. Schanoes's publication posits a brand new version for realizing either feminist psychoanalytic idea and feminist retellings, one who emphasizes the interdependence of idea and artwork and demanding situations the thought that literary revision includes a masculinist fight with the writer's creative forbearers.

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Additional resources for Fairy Tales, Myth, and Psychoanalytic Theory: Feminism and Retelling the Tale

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Indeed, in contrast to her tales of the heroic mother’s exploits, the overshadowed daughter refers to herself only as a “student” and a “poor widow’s child” (117, 114). She effaces herself again when she refers to her suitor coming to visit “my mother’s sitting room” (112). The sitting room belongs to her mother; in the wake of such an overpowering figure, how can her daughter find a place of her own? Even her musical ability is in some way a debt to her mother: “I … whose mother had sold all her jewelry, even her wedding ring, to pay the fees at the Conservatoire” (117).

The mother-daughter relationship is closely allied with the literary representation of the process and concept of revision and with revisionary tales (folklore, for example, is dependent on the retellings and revisions of generations of story-tellers); daughters in this literature are often represented as revisions of their mothers. In revisions of fairy tales and myths, portrayals of the mother-daughter trope illustrate the issues of fusion, identification, and violent desire for individuation that inform so much 1970s and 1990s work on the relationship.

Unlike Gothel, though, who desires and seeks out this young, pure self in order to “protect” it, Arpazia experiences her daughter’s existence as a loss of the self she once was, as a death. “Kill it,” she screams silently during labor, “kill it as it kills me” (56). The relation between mother and daughter becomes a life-or-death struggle between Arpazia and her daughter. Once the infant is born, “they thrust the thing … into her arms and somehow now she did hold it. It sucked on her, hurting her … this tiny, milking grub.

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