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Download Bluebeard's Legacy: Death and Secrets from Bartók to PDF

The story of the serial wife-murderer Bluebeard, his defiant, and surviving, ultimate spouse, a bloodied key and a mystery chamber of horrors, has involved writers, composers, artists and film-makers all through sleek instances. it's a specified tale that dares to reveal and discover masculine violence: the homme fatal.

This  transdisciplinary publication explores the deep charm of the Bluebeard tale for twentieth-century tradition. Its significant concentration is how the modernist mind's eye used the weather of Bluebeard’s story to discover masculinity’s anxieties within the face of the rising calls for of girls for redefinition and sexual equality: anxieties additionally of ethnic and cultural distinction, and primary disquiet approximately sexuality, pathology and violence within the masculine.

Starting with investigations into Bartók’s opera 'Duke Bluebeard’s Castle', significant cultural thinkers, together with Elisabeth Bronfen, Ian Christie, Griselda Pollock and Maria Tatar, hint Bluebeard’s evolution from Perrault within the 17th century  to the cinematic hommes fatals of Méliès, Fritz Lang and Hitchcock.

The result's an interesting kaleidoscope of sexuality, interest, violence and death.

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Additional resources for Bluebeard's Legacy: Death and Secrets from Bartók to Hitchcock (New Encounters: Arts, Cultures, Concepts)

Sample text

The beginning and the end of Mother Goose Following the publication of several single tales in the influential paper Le Mercure Galant, Perrault’s collection of fairy tales was duly published INTRODUCTION 5 in 1697 under the title Histoires ou Contes du Temps passé avec des Moralitez (Stories or tales of times past with morals), and bearing on the frontispiece the subtitle ‘Contes de ma Mère l’Oye’ (Tales of Mother Goose). These were ‘La Belle au Bois Dormant’ (‘Sleeping Beauty’), ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’ (‘Little Red Riding Hood’), ‘La Barbe Bleue’ (‘Bluebeard’), ‘Le Chat Botté’ (‘Puss in Boots’), and ‘Les Fées’ (‘The Fairies’).

Folklorists have shown surprising interpretive confidence in reading Perrault’s ‘Bluebeard’ as a story about a woman’s failure to respond to the trust invested in her. The homicidal history of the husband takes a back seat to the disobedience of the wife. ‘Bloody key as sign of disobedience’—this is the motif folklorists consistently single out as the defining moment of the tale. The bloodstained key points to a double transgression, one that is both moral and sexual. 15 Bruno Bettelheim’s reading is representative: 26 BLUEBEARD’S LEGACY When the male gives the female a key to a room, while at the same time instructing her not to enter, it is a test of her faithfulness to his orders, or, in a broader sense, to him.

Neither are they oral, though they, as Elizabeth Harries phrases it, ‘simulate orality’;27 as we might phrase it, they parody orality. But more than this, since we cannot but observe the grinding irony that in his telling of the tales Perrault himself becomes a mocking parody of a woman precisely as does the wolf. 12 BLUEBEARD’S LEGACY By the time Perrault’s tales were published, the gains made by women in terms of personal and political freedoms had been significantly reduced under the absolutist regime.

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