Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (edition 2000)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
293364,383 (4.2)3
In over 1,000 entries, this acclaimed Companion covers all aspects of the Western fairy tale tradition, from medieval to modern, under the guidance of Professor Jack Zipes. It provides an authoritative reference source for this complex and captivating genre, exploring the tales themselves, the writers who wrote and reworked them, and the artists who illustrated them. It also covers numerous related topics such as the fairy tale and film, television, art, opera, ballet, the oral tradition, music, advertising, cartoons, fantasy literature, feminism, and stamps. First published in 2000, 130 new entries have been added to account for recent developments in the field, including J. K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, and new articles on topics such as cognitive criticism and fairy tales, digital fairy tales, fairy tale blogs and websites, and pornography and fairy tales. The remaining entries have been revised and updated in consultation with expert contributors. This second edition contains beautifully designed feature articles highlighting countries with a strong fairy tale tradition, covering: Britain and Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, North America and Canada, Portugal, Scandinavian countries, Slavic and Baltic countries, and Spain. It also includes an informative and engaging introduction by the editor, which sets the subject in its historical and literary context. A detailed and updated bibliography provides information about background literature and further reading material. In addition, the A to Z entries are accompanied by over 60 beautiful and carefully selected black and white illustrations. Already renowned in its field, the second edition of this unique work is an essential companion for anyone interested in fairy tales in literature, film, and art; and for anyone who values the tradition of storytelling.… (more)
Title:The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2000), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
“There is no such thing as the fairy tale; however there are hundreds of thousands of fairy tales.” With this contradiction, The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales begins. The ‘Introduction’ by Jack Zipes takes us into a genre, the literary fairy tale, which is entangled in the roots of oral folklore, ‘wonder tales’, and ancient literary texts, and survives in writings and re-writings that carry the mode itself through a journey of transformation and appropriation over and across artistic mediums and narrative sensibilities.

Zipes describes a genre that began by bringing the voices of peasant men and women into the houses of the literate, and that has continued to sympathise with and represent marginalised voices and ideas through simple and easily recognisable tropes. Yet he does not present us with a simple answer to the question, ‘What is a fairy tale?’, but guides us, as his subtitle states, ‘towards a definition.’ The fairy tale has come to mean so many different things; a tale with ‘fairies’, a moral tale, a radical form of communication, and is found in such a variety iterations in cultures all over the world, that, for Zipes, a single definition could never be sufficient.

The encyclopaedic A-Z of this Oxford Companion is an expansion of this very idea. There is no narrative thread, but a series of entry points into the fairy tale as a form and as an idea. Entries range from the obvious; the famous traditional fairy tales, and the writers who produced them, to the more obscure; ‘communist folk-tale films’, the 1987 musical production ‘Into the Woods’, the 1960s feature length movie ‘Cinderfella’. The companion also includes entries for composers such as Richard Wagner, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Igor Stravinsky, who drew on fairy tales for their ballets and operas, and references contemporary writers like Jeanette Winterson and Salman Rushdie for the use of fairy tale in their works. Compiled in collaboration with a field of experts, these entries are all informative, authoritative, and accessible to the lay person.

New to this second edition are entries on topics such as ‘digital fairy tales’, and ‘fairy tale blogs and websites’, which bring the companion up to date with developments in technology and social media, as well as new entries for a range of more contemporary authors and creators. The greatest assets to this second edition though, are the feature articles scattered throughout the book, which highlight the fairy tale traditions of various countries; Britain and Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, North America and Canada, Portugal, Scandinavian countries, Slavic and Baltic countries, and Spain. These articles are written by experts in the field, and are beautifully designed with a grey patterned border that makes them easy to identify from within the A-Z when the book is closed. Each of these articles brings to light some of the key histories, ideas, and discussions surrounding the fairy tales of these different nations in a way that invites further reading. A particular highlight for me was the discussion of the impact of Walt Disney and commercial culture on the consumption and understanding of fairy tales, which is to be found in the feature on North America and Canada.

The book itself is beautifully presented, and published to a very high standard. It benefits from a wide selection of black and white illustrations that accompany the entries, and a well-designed layout. A practical, but nevertheless important point, is that the opened book naturally lies flat; an invaluable quality for ease of use.

As a reference book for academic study, or for writers and readers with an interest in the fairy tale, this companion is difficult to surpass. Its entries are both wide ranging and comprehensive, and the additional bibliographical information is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to reach further into any of the subjects Zipes and his collaborators touch upon.

See this review on A Hermit's Progress: https://ahermitsprogress.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/the-oxford-companion-to-fairy-... ( )
  Victoria_A | Mar 11, 2016 |
This is a wonderful and (in my opinion) essential reference tool for anyone interested in fairy tales and folklore. With contributions from some of the most respected and well-known experts in the field, [b:The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|207109|The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|Jack Zipes|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172685109s/207109.jpg|200448] presents a vast and amazing amount of knowledge (set up encyclopedia-style from the A to Z, from the famous Aarne-Thompson Index to Austrian fairy tale illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger). An informative introduction by editor Jack Zipes, as well as an extensive bibliography contribute to truly make [b:The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|207109|The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|Jack Zipes|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172685109s/207109.jpg|200448] a perfect reference manual, and a perfect starting point for further research on fairy tales and folklore.

The only complaints I have about this otherwise excellent book are both minor and (probably) very much personal peeves. For reading ease, I do have to say that the script of [b:The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|207109|The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales|Jack Zipes|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172685109s/207109.jpg|200448] has a rather small font size, making reading a bit difficult at times (at least I found it to be thus). Also, I wish that the names of the numerous contributors had been shown in full at the end of each of the articles (the sections), and not been simply given as acronyms. I know that for most of the Oxford companion books, this is the standard way contributors are acknowledged, but because I have trouble remembering acronyms, I kept having to flip back to the contributor pages to figure out exactly who wrote which section (which definitely distracted me and somewhat lessened my reading pleasure). ( )
  gundulabaehre | Mar 31, 2013 |
The cover of this Companion's paperback edition helpfully reminds us that this is about "the Western fairy tale tradition, from medieval to modern", so, apart from the interfaces where East meets West (as in the Arabian Nights) or the Ancient World meets the 20th century (as in the discussion of mythology and myth), there is very little on anything which is non-Eurocentric and by extension North American of the recent past.

That said, the 600-plus pages of the paperback edition are packed with every aspect of the fairytale you could wish for, from the anonymous to the commercial and from the traditional to the literary and the artistic. The range of contributors (largely North American, with a smattering of European experts) means there is no single authorial voice, but Zipes' editorial authority is stamped all over the Companion, from his fascinating introductory overview to choice of entries. This book contains nearly all you wanted to know about the genre and quite a lot besides of what you never knew you wanted to know. Hours of random dipping or cross-referencing are guaranteed, for aficionado and the curious alike. ( )
  ed.pendragon | Sep 23, 2010 |
Showing 3 of 3
"This thorough and scholarly edition edited by comparative literature expert Zipes contains 130 new entries, bringing the listings up to more than 1,000. ...Complete but a bit esoteric, this selection is recommended for research or college libraries only."
added by KoobieKitten | editLibrary Journal | March 2016 | Vol. 141 No. 5, Sharon Verbeten (Mar 15, 2016)

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Introduction -- Toward a Definition of the Literary Fairy Tale -- There is no such thing as THE fairy tale; however, there are hundreds of thousands of fairy tales.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.2)
2 1
3 7
4 10
4.5 2
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 149,298,870 books! | Top bar: Always visible