Reading Questions: Zipes and Nodelman

In Zipes (“Once Upon a Time in the Future”), here are some things to consider:

1) what is an “epidemiological approach . . . to understanding[ing] the changing importance and function of the fairy tale”? (See p. 98, also 94)
2) what are the social conditions that made fairy tales “relevant” before the 20th century? (see esp. 100-101, 112-115)
3) what are the central questions that Zipes wants to ask about fairy tales today? Are these questions important to you?
4) feel free to skim quickly over the lists of novels, movies, picture books, and other revisions that Zipes lists.
5) please focus your reading on pp. 91-115 (though you may want to scan the discussion of contemporary retellings in 115 – 127 when you are casting about for a research paper topic).

In Nodelman (“The Hidden Meaning and the Inner Tale: Deconstruction and the Interpretation of Fairy Tales”), here are some things to consider:

1) what does he (or Derrida) mean by the term “transcendental signified”? (see esp. 143-144)
2) what is “intertextuality”?
3) Nodelman claims near the end of his essay, “If interpretations are merely new versions, it is only because all versions are merely interpretations” (147). What does he mean by this claim? Do you agree?


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