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The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
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The Bloody Chamber (1979)

by Angela Carter

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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"La camera di sangue" è una rivisitazione delle fiabe della nostra infanzia in chiave adulta e gotica. Sono una decina di racconti che si ispirano alle favole più conosciute: Cappuccetto Rosso, la Bella e la Bestia, il Gatto con gli stivali (a mio parere una delle più interessanti), la Bella Addormentata nel bosco e Cappuccetto Rosso.
I racconti sono più o meno lunghi ma comunque efficaci nella resa delle immagini e delle sensazioni. L'autrice ha voluto scavare nei significati e nelle morali delle fiabe a cui siamo abituati per portare alla luce le sfaccettature che da piccoli comunque non avremmo potuto cogliere. La scrittura è molto particolare e passa da immagini dirette e inequivocabili (sopratutto riguardo al sesso e alle violenze) ad arzigogolati pensieri per esprimere concetti anche banali.
La figura femminile, inoltre, viene spesso denigrata o comunque portata ad un livello molto basso di considerazione ma riesce comunque ad uscirne vincitrice.
A mio parere i racconti che mi hanno colpita di più sono quello del Gatto con gli stivali (crudo ma il più astuto e ironico) o l'ultimo ovvero Lupo-Alice, Cappuccetto Rosso e Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie si fondono per dare vita alla storia dell'evoluzione di una bambina cresciuta tra i Lupi che diventa donna inserita nel contesto degli umani.
Se posso muovere una critica personale, mi aspettavo che fosse molto più horror e splatter e invece la scelta stilistica è proprio indirizzata alle metafore e alle riflessioni. La riuscita è comunque ottima!

( )
  Feseven78 | Apr 17, 2019 |
I often struggle with short stories. This collection is no exception to that rule. I listened to this via audiobook narrated by Emilia Fox and Richard Armitage. I'm not a fan of Emilia Fox as a narrator, but I love Richard Armitage. That being said, the narrators are the only reason I plowed my way through this, and even then, I had to listen at 1.25 X speed because I just did not enjoy the tales. These are dark fairy tale retellings, probably true to the spirit of the originals unlike Disney retellings, but they were a little too dark and sexually explicit for me. I didn't expect the blatant and often brutal sexuality that ran through almost all of these tales, and it was off-putting. ( )
  DGRachel | Apr 2, 2019 |
The wolfsong is the sound of the rending you will suffer, in itself a murdering.

As a rule I don't care for folklore. I also maintain a historical aversion to short stories. What a joy it is then to proclaim my love for these macabre tales of hymens, fogged mirrors, and the gasps of lusts and bloodletting. Ms. Carter's tales are fevered variations on nursery rhymes: Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood Lycanthropes and wee wicked Alice dart from the shadows and dazzle the reader. ( )
1 vote jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
"You never saw such a wild thing as my mother, her hat seized by the winds and blown out to sea so that her hair was her white mane, her black lisle legs exposed to the thigh, her skirts tucked round her waist, one hand on the reins of the rearing horse while the other clasped my father's service revolver and, behind her, the breakers of the savage, indifferent sea, like the witnesses of a furious justice."

I hadn't read this collection since my college days, and it was an absolute treat to come back to it now, without the baggage of having to write a paper or exam on it. And yet, I still found myself studying it carefully at times, because it's a work that demands to be dissected. The individual stories reference one another in surprising ways compel the reader to go back to previous tales in order to fully unearth the connection. The intricately worded sentences force us to slow down in order to fully unlock their meaning. And, of course, there are the source materials crowding around the edges of Carter's own re-imaginings.

For me, the standouts in the collection are the title piece (from which the above quote is taken), The Erl-King, and The Lady of the House of Love.

I picked this copy up recently, a beautifully printed 75th anniversary edition whose pages have a lovely thick texture and almost rough edges that give it the feel of a manuscript. ( )
1 vote LocusAmoenus | Feb 16, 2019 |
A paper version has long been in my library, so I snapped up the ebook when it featured in a deal. This is a collection of stories based on fairy tale tropes but not actually fairy tales. The stories were co-opted by the feminist movement, although Carter denied that they were feminist retellings of fairy tales.

The writing is by turns lush and spare, and the dream-like imagery evoked by the stories is what lends them the veneer of the fairy tale. However, these are not the stories familiar from childhood; although familiar, they take unexpected twists and turns and (at the very least) end with blood pooled on the floor (either literally or metaphorically).

Recommended
1 vote Maddz | Dec 30, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carter, Angelaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armitage, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bikadoroff, RoxannaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karash, IgorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lanati, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsh, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simpson, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, MarinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I remember how, that night, I lay awake in the wagon-lit in a tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement, my burning cheek pressed against the impeccable linen of the pillow and the pounding of my heart mimicking that of the great pistons ceaselessly thrusting the train that bore me through the night, away from Paris, away from girlhood, away from the white, enclosed quietude of my mother's apartment, into the unguessable country of marriage.
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Book description
From familiar fairy tales and legends -- Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves -- Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories. -- from the back of the book

Contents:
The Bloody Chamber
The Courtship of Mr Lyon
The Tiger's Bride
Puss-in-Boots
The Erl-King
The Snow Child
The Lady of the House of Love
The Werewolf
The Company of Wolves
Wolf-Alice
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Angela Carter has taken old fairy stories, subtly altering and changing them to create strange glittering tales that will haunt the reader. Originally published: London: Gollancz, 1979.

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