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Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies

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What do bodies mean in fairy tales? Donald Haase’s engagement with the Grimms’ fairy tales has offered some hints, ranging from his attention to feminist scholarship on the Grimms to his multifaceted review of recent Grimm scholarship that addresses various meanings of bodies in the language and translation of their tales. Inspired by Haase’s work and encouragement, I created a database that lists every mention or description of a body in the Grimms’ tales and in five other European tale collections. I detailed the results of this quantitative investigation in my dissertation, generally treating all the tale collections as part of one large corpus. In this essay, however, to add to the conversation that Haase has generated and curated, I refilter the data to solely examine which body parts (nouns, adjectives, and actions) appear in the Grimm tales. A major thematic focus is transgression and transformation, especially their gendered dimensions.


This article was archived with permission from Wayne State University Press, all rights reserved. Document also available from Marvels & Tales.