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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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Witch as Fairy/Fairy as Witch: Unfathomable Baba Yagas

Witch as Fairy/Fairy as Witch: Unfathomable Baba Yagas

(p.55) 4 Witch as Fairy/Fairy as Witch: Unfathomable Baba Yagas
The Irresistible Fairy Tale

Jack Zipes

Princeton University Press

This chapter attempts to clarify the importance of the connections between witches and fairies coupled with their deep roots in pagan and Greco-Roman beliefs by moving away from western Europe to look at the great witch Baba Yaga of Slavic countries. It cites three reasons for concentrating on Baba Yaga and Slavic fairy tales. The first one regards neglect. For the most part, the focus of folklore and fairy-tale studies in the United States and western Europe has been on the works of the Brothers Grimm and other notable western European writers and folklorist. The second is to understand the relationship between goddesses, witches, and fairies. The third reason is that a brief analysis of Baba Yaga tales with a focus on the neglected work Russian Folk Tales (1873), translated and edited by W.R.S. Ralston (1828–89), might assist us in grasping how oral and literary traditions work together to reinforce the memetic replication of fairy tales.

Keywords:   witches, fairy tales, Baba Yaga, Slavic countries, folklore, goddesses, Russian Folk Tales, oral tradition, literary tradition, memetic replication

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