Universität Wien FIND

130094 PS Social History of Literature (PS): The Romantic Fairytale: Origina (1350-1817) (2015W)

From Robin Hood to 'The Sandman'

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 07.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 14.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 21.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 28.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 04.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 11.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 18.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 25.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 02.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 09.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 16.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 13.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Saturday 16.01. 17:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 20.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Saturday 23.01. 18:30 - 20:30 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Monday 25.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Wednesday 27.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Friday 29.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course explores the literary origins of what would become the Romantic Fairytale. With reference to the social and historical context from which these progenitive tales emerged, our objective is to consider the specific conditions that gave rise to the ‘secondary world’ of faërie. Notwithstanding a growing tendency to dismiss that which cannot be seen or proven, we will approach the faërie realm from the perspective that, within and unto itself, it was and remains as structured and 'real' as any in which we ourselves reside.
Beginning in Mediæval England with the ballads of Robin Hood and the Arthurian romance 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight', through to the Italian and French Renaissance and into (and swiftly out of) the Enlightenment, our study will close with the emergence of the Romantic Fairytale at the turn of nineteenth-century Germany. Music and art relevant to time and subject will accompany the readings and complement our understanding of the manner in which society viewed and interpreted a world that lay beyond its grasp. Supplementary material covering the theoretical 'construction' of the genre will be provided and discussed, but particular emphasis will be placed on the heroes and villains that inhabit our pictorial consciousness of the Romantic Fairytale.

Assessment and permitted materials

The primary objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough introduction to the Romantic Kunstmärchen. Our readings will explore the social and historical context that gave rise to the literary fairytale as an effective means of discourse and dissent. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Romantic protagonist. Given the restrictions of time, the occasional listed work may be reduced to a cursory reading and will not be discussed in depth by the instructor; nonetheless, as discussion and debate are expected and indeed required, students are actively encouraged to open and advance dialogue on any subject pertaining to the course material.
There is no coursebook. The material for each subject will be posted on the Thursday prior to Wednesday’s lecture; should PDF files be available online, a suitable link will be provided. Discussion will take place in English based on the translated versions of non-English readings; however, as the instructor has at least a reading familiarity with French, Italian and German, students are reminded of the comparative nature of this course and are strongly advised to pursue the tales in their language of composition; written work may also include quoted passages from the original versions.
The final grade for this course comprises the following parts:
• Ten five-minute quizzes: 10%
• Mid-term exam: 20%
• Essay (1500-2000 words): 30%
• Final exam: 40%
There will be a brief quiz at the beginning of each lecture based on the readings; the overall grade will be drawn from the highest ten. The 45-minute mid-term exam will familiarise students with the format and expectations of the final exam; both will be discussed thoroughly in class. Essay topics will be broad and should enable students to develop a topic based on their own interest in the Romantic Kunstmärchen.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Das Kunstmärchen

October 7th, 2015
Robin Hood
Introduction I: Myth, Legend, Ballad and Fairytale
Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne [PDF]

October 14th, 2015
The Monk as Scribe, Warrior and Lover
Gesta Romanorum, The Knights Templar and Boccaccio
Introduction II: The Social and Historical Context of the Fairytale
Giovanni Boccaccio
The Decameron, Novel III, x [Handout]
Novel X, x [Handout]

October 21st, 2015
The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
The Clerk’s Tale [Handout]
The Miller’s Tale [Film clip]
The Pardoner’s Tale [Animated clip]

October 28th, 2015
The Table Round
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1385) [PDF]
J. R. R. Tolkien On Fairy-Stories (1947) [PDF]

November 4th, 2015
Arthurian Romance and Faërie
Sir Thomas Malory
Le Morte d’Arthur (1485) [PDF Selections]
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Lady of Shalott (1832) [Handout for audio recording]

November 11th, 2015
The Origin of the Literary Fairytale
Gianfrancesco Straparola
Le piacevoli notti [The Pleasant Nights] (1550-53) [PDF Selections]
Giambattista Basile
Lo cunto de la cunti [The Pentamerone] (1634-36) [PDF Selections]

November 18th, 2015
The Fairytale in Music, Painting and Illustration with reference to
Edmund Spenser
The Faerie Queene (1590)
William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (c. 1590-1597)
The Winter’s Tale (1611)
The Tempest (c. 1610-1611)

November 25th, 2015
The French Salon and Le conte de fée
Marie-Catherine, Countess d’Aulnoy
L’oranger et l’abeille [The Orange Tree and the Bee] (1697) [PDF]
Henriette Julie de Murat
Le sauvage [The Savage] (1699) [PDF]
Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier de Villandon
Ricdin-Ricdon (1705) [PDF]

December 2nd, 2015
Charles Perrault
Histoires ou contes de temps passé [Stories or Tales of Past Times] (1697) [PDF Selections]
Antoine Galland
Les milles et une nuit [The Thousand and One Nights] (1704-17) [PDF Selections]

December 9th, 2015
Das Kunstmärchen in der Romantik
Klingsohrs Märchen (1802)
Wilhelm Heinrich Wakenroder
Phantasien über die Kunst für Freunde der Kunst (1799)

December 16th, 2015
Ludwig Tieck
Der Blonde Eckbert (1797)
Der Runenberg (1804)
Die Elfen (1811-12)

January 6th, 2016
Optional class for essay and exam preparation.

January 13th, 2016
The Watersprite
Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué
Undine (1811)

January 20th, 2016
The Sandman
E. T. A. Hoffmann
Der Sandmann (1816)
Sigmund Freud
The Uncanny (1919)

January 27th, 2016
Final Exam

Examination topics

Research Bibliography, part 1:
Asbjørnsen, Peter Christian and Jørgen Moe. Norwegian Fairy Tales. Trans. Pat Shaw Iversen and Carl Norman. Illus. Erik Werenskiold and Theodor Kittelsen. New York: Pantheon, 1960. Print.
Blackwell, Jeannine. ‘German Fairy Tales, A User’s Manual: Translations of Six Frames and Fragments by Romantic Women.’ Marvels & Tales 14.1 (2000): 99-121. Print.
Bockwoldt, Gerd. ‘Das Bild des Juden in den Märchen der Brüder Grimm.’ [‘The Portrayal of Jews in the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.’] Zeitschrift fuer Religions und Geistesgeschichte 63.3 (2011): 234-249. Web. 24. Sept. 2014.
Bottigheimer, Ruth B. Grimm’s Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the Tales. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale UP, 1987. Print.
Cowdy, Cheryl. ‘Resistant Rituals: Self-Mutilation and the Female Adolescent Body in Fairy Tales and Young Adult Fiction.’ Bookbird 50.1 (2012): 42-52. Web. 20. Sept. 2014.
Detering, Heinrich. ‘H. C. Andersen’s ‘Schiller Fairy Tale’ and the Post-Romantic Religion of Art.’ Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms 1.1 (2012): 49-66. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
Du Coudray, Chantal. ‘The Cycle of the Werewolf: Romantic Ecologies of Selfhood in Popular Fantasy.’ Australian Feminist Studies 18.40 (2003): 57-72. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
Dvorák, Antonín. Rusalka. Libr. Jaroslav Kvapil. 1901. Dir. Jirí Belohlávek. Perf. Eva Jenisová [Rusalka], Vladimír Hri¨ko [Prince], Peter Mikulᨠ[Water Sprite]. National Theatre Opera, Prague. 3 Oct. 1998. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Eitelgeorge, Janice S. and Nancy A. Anderson. ‘The Work of Hans Christian Andersen: More Than Just a Fairy Tale.’ Bookbird 42.3 (2004): 37-44. Print.
Ewers, Hans-Heino. ‘H. C. Andersen as Seen by Critics of German Children’s Literature since the Beginning of the Twentieth Century.‘ Marvels & Tales, 20.2 (2006): 208-223. Print.
Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Approaches. Ed. Donald Haase. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2004. Print.
Fairy Tales and Fables from Weimar Days. Ed. and trans. Jack Zipes. Madison, WI: UWP, 1997. Print.
de la Motte Fouqué, Frederick. The Magic Ring. George Routledge and Sons, 1876. Print.
. Undine. 1811. Trans. W. L. Courtney. Illus. Arthur Rackham. London: William Heinemann, 1909. Print.
Haase, Donald. ‘Decolonizing Fairy-Tale Studies.’ Marvels & Tales 24.1 (2010): 17-38. Web. 22. Sept. 2014.
Hubbs, V. C. ‘Tieck’s Romantic Fairy Tales and Shakespeare.’ Studies in Romanticism 8.1 (1969): 229- 234. Print.
Jakobson, Roman. ‘On Russian Fairy Tales.’ In A. N. Afanas’ev, Russian Fairy Tales. New York: Pantheon, 1973. Print.
Jarvis, Shawn C. ‘The Vanished Woman of Great Influence: Benedikte Naubert’s Legacy and German Women’s Fairy Tales.’ In In the Shadow of Olympus: German Women Writers Around 1800. Ed. Katherine R. Goodman and Edith Waldstein et al. Albany: SUNY, 1992. Print.
La Belle et la Bête. Dir. Jean Cocteau. Perf: Josette Day, Jean Marais. Lopert Pictures, 1946. DVD.
Le Spectre de la Rose. Dir. and chor. Michel Fokine. Perf. Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina, Ballet Russes. Théâtre de Monte-Carlo, Monte-Carlo. 19 Apr. 1911. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. [Youtube.]

Reading list

Reserach Bibliography, part 2:
Marlinsky, Alexander. ‘The Terrible Fortune-Telling.’ 1830. Russian Nineteenth-Century Gothic Tales. Ed. Valentin Korovin. Moscow: Raduga, 1984. Print.
McGlathery, James M. Fairy Tale Romance; The Grimms, Basile, and Perrault. Chicago: UIP, 1991. Print.
The Queen’s Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women, 1780-1900. Ed. and trans. Shawn C. Jarvis and Jeannine Blackwell. Lincoln, NE: UNP, 2000. Print.
Rettl, Lisa. ‘Fairy Tales Re-Visited: Gender Concepts in Traditional and Feminist Fairy Tales.’ Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik 26.2(2001):181-98. Print
Rosen, Barry W. ‘Metamärchen: Reevaluating and Defining the Romantic Kunstmärchen.’ Folklore Forum 18.1(1985):15-31. Print.
Sellner, Timothy F. ‘Jungian Psychology and the Romantic Fairy Tale: A New Look at Tiecks’s ‘Der blonde Eckbert’.‘ Germanic Review 55 (1980): 89-97. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Sky, Jeanette. ‘Myths of Innocence and Imagination: The Case of the Fairy Tale.’ Literature and Theology 16. 4 (2002): 363-376. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Slessarev, Helga. ‘E.T.A. Hoffman’s Prinzessin Brambilla: A Romanticist’s Contribution to the Aesthetic Education of Man.‘ Studies in Romanticism 9 (1970): 147-60. Print.
Thalmann, Marianne. The Romantic Fairy Tale; Seeds of Surrealism. Trans. Mary B. Corcoran. Ann Arbor: UMIP, 1964. Print.
Wood, Naomi. ‘The Ugly Duckling’s Legacy: Adulteration, Contemporary Fantasy, and the Dark.‘ Marvels & Tales 20.2 (2006) 193-207. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Zipes, Jack. The Brothers Grimm : From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World. New York: Routledge, 1988. Print.
. ‘The Enchanted Forest of the Brothers Grimm: New Modes of Approaching the Grimms’ Fairy Tales.’ Germanic Review 62.2 (1987): 66-74. Print.
. ‘The Revolutionary Rise of the Romantic Fairy Tale in Germany.’ Studies in Romanticism 16.4 (1977): 409-450. Print.
Illustrations Undine and The Knight Huldebrand with a Gnome by Arthur Rackham. In Frederick de la Motte Fouqué, Undine. 1811. London: William Heinemann, 1909. Print.

Association in the course directory


Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:34