Two ‘Sleeping Beauties’: The Fate of Eva Wigström’s Swedish Cinderellas

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Two ‘Sleeping Beauties’: The Fate of Eva Wigström’s Swedish Cinderellas

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Title Two ‘Sleeping Beauties’: The Fate of Eva Wigström’s Swedish Cinderellas
Author Sundmark, Björn
Date 2012
English abstract
In this paper I am going to focus on two “Cinderellas” collected by the Swedish pioneer folklorist and writer Eva Wigström during walking expeditions (1879-80) in Skåne in the south part of Sweden. The tales are “Trähätta” [Wood-cap] and “Fågeln med guldskrinet” [The Bird with the Golden Box]. “Wood-cap” is a version of AT 510 B while “The Bird with the Golden Box” is a version of AT 510 A, that is, the classic Cinderella. Both tales have interesting features. “Wood-cap” has more magical traits than is common in the “rational” 510 B; and “The Bird with the Golden Box” displays influences from both Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm – or at the very least from the broad-sheet versions of these Cinderellas. Both of these tales are Swedish ec(h)o-types of the Cinderella motif. They echo central European texts and situate them in a specific Swedish context. But the tales are also interesting since they are part of a collection which had to wait like sleeping beauty for a hundred years before it was finally printed and published (1985). The paper explores a number of possibilities why the book was suppressed for so long. Wigström, who herself was of peasant stock, did not want an embellished publication with illustrations and sanitized language, catering to the well-to-do. If she had accepted this it is likely that the book would have been published promptly. Neither did she want a narrow scholarly publication; her stated aim with the book was to reach the general reading public. Another complicating factor is her gender. She complains in some letters that if she had been a man, the book would not have been so offensive. Finally, it is likely that the provenance of the tales – Skåne – with its liminal Danish-Swedish status was less appealing for the general reading public than if the tales had originated in the heart of the country.
Conference
Cinderella as a Text of Culture, Rom, Italien (La Sapienza), 8-10 Nov, 2012
Pages 1-9
Language eng (iso)
Subject Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/20706 Permalink to this page
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