Voicing Authenticities through Translation: Framing Strategies in the Multicultural Fairy Tale Collections of Andrew Lang and Angela Carter

Published: May 1, 2012
andrew lang lang carter angela carter fairy tales virago book fairy books translation
Mayako Murai
This article discusses the question of authenticity and translation in two multicultural fairy tale collections in English, Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books (1889-1910) and Angela Carter’s two-volume The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1990-1992). Although they both deploy comparative folkloristic methods in editing their collections, they point in two opposite directions. On the one hand, Lang’s collection homogenises stories from different cultures into a single framework, smoothing out cultural differences in the service of a supposed universalism whose cultural bias is made invisible through Lang’s editorial strategies. On the other hand, Carter’s collection re-presents multiple authenticities by allowing different storytellers and translators to speak in their own voices while explicitly contextualising the stories in the framework of a feminist story collection. This article concludes with a reflection on the implications of Carter’s framing strategy for understanding the fairy tale and translation in a global context.
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Author Biography
Mayako Murai

Mayako Murai is Professor in the English Department at Kanagawa University, Japan. Her recent writings appeared in Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) and Postmodern Reinterpretations of Fairy Tales (Edwin Mellen, 2011). She is currently working on a book-length study of the transformative uses of classic European fairy tales in contemporary Japanese literature and art.

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