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The Irresistible Fairy TaleThe Cultural and Social History of a Genre$
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Jack Zipes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153384

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153384.001.0001

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Remaking “Bluebeard,” or Good-bye to Perrault

Remaking “Bluebeard,” or Good-bye to Perrault

(p.41) 3 Remaking “Bluebeard,” or Good-bye to Perrault
The Irresistible Fairy Tale

Jack Zipes

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes Catherine Breillat's film Bluebeard. It argues that Breillat's filmic appropriation of Charles Perrault's “Bluebeard” is part of a memetic process that entails imitation, innovation, and transformation. Her interpretation of Perrault's tale is a contestation, and while she seeks to replace Perrault's version with a double rendition of his tale, she also emphasizes the significance of Perrault's tale and demonstrates how all Bluebeard tales are part of a singular discursive process within the larger genre of the fairy tale. Interestingly, both Perrault and Breillat become merely markers in the evolutionary history of a tale type about mass murders that continues to breathe and demand our attention through supernormal stimuli.

Keywords:   Catherine Breillat, Bluebeard, Charles Perrault, fairy tales, memetic process

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