East of the Sun and West of the Moon: The Traditional Fairy Tale and the Contemporary Short Story with Larry Ellis
About the Class
Authors from J.R.R. Tolkien to Neil Gaiman have drawn upon the folk genre of the fairy tale to explore the appeal of the marvelous and the timeless, reworking traditional motifs and tale types through adaptations of the oral storytelling in which the genre has its origins. The liminal space that lies between orality and print is itself a faerie realm in its expression of uncertainty, reversal, danger, and promise. In our class, we will explore the narrative possibilities offered by this space, beginning with a brief lecture on theory and sources and moving on to invention, discussion, and group work. Students will complete outlines that will aid them in working on their own stories when the class is finished. Students should familiarize themselves with at least two or three fairy tales from any national or cultural tradition before the class begins.