Academic journal article Marvels & Tales

From the Editors

Academic journal article Marvels & Tales

From the Editors

Article excerpt

This issue is dedicated to fairy tales and translation. It features not only new scholarly articles on the history of fairy-tale translation, but also translations of tales from Europe, Japan, and Hawai'i, as well as translations of historically important essays on the fairy tale and fantasy The issue's focus developed spontaneously from a sequence of related submissions that reflected the growing interest in the phenomenon of translation, which cuts across many disciplines. The Modern Language Association (MLA), for example, recently announced that the theme of the Presidential Forum at the 2009 MLA convention will be "The Tasks of Translation in the Twenty-First Century." In the field of fairy-tale studies, the University of Hawai'i, Mänoa, sponsored an international symposium in September 2008 called "Folktales and Fairy Tales: Translation, Colonialism, and Cinema," which addressed important questions concerning the translation of folktales and fairy tales.

The fairy tale itself has flourished thanks to cross-cultural contamination or cross-fertilization of one tradition by another through translations and adaptations. Sixteenth- and early seventeenth- century Italian tales were read and adapted by seventeenth-century French tale-tellers. When Antoine Galland translated the Arabian Nights from Arabic into French in the early eighteenth century, he unknowingly launched the literary fashion of the oriental tale. Galland's translation subsequently was translated into German and English, influencing tale-telling in those countries. As scholars like Heinz Roll eke, Maria Tatar, and Jack Zipes have demonstrated, even the Brothers Grimm, who claimed to have gathered authentic stories from the German folk, had collected many tales that in fact were German adaptations of French tales, many of which had Italian roots.

The essay by nineteenth-century French writer Théophile Gautier that has been translated for inclusion in this issue is basically a review of a French translation of the German Romantic writer E. …

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