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Trickster Turned Sadist: The Role of Scottish Folklore in George MacDonald's 'The Carasoyne'
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4381-8331
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 1871 George MacDonald published a revision of the “The Fairy Fleet”, a work that he originally published in 1866 in the literary journal The Argosy. Now re-titled “The Carasoyne”, the story of the Scottish boy Colin’s mission to rescue a human girl out of her servitude to the Fairy Queen is given a startlingly bleak continuation – Colin, now an adult, must once again deal with the fairies when they snatch away his son. But this time the fairies are no longer portrayed so much as tricksters as genuinely malevolent creatures, who gleefully threatens to maim the child and does not necessarily feel bound by the obligations of their word, the “final proof of moral declension in fairies”. David Robb has noted that there is a “growing respect for evil” throughout the author’s realist novels of the 1870’s, resulting in more confrontative and less conciliatory narratives than those of the earlier works. A similar process can be traced in the author’s later writing for children, although one could question if the shift in style here has been accounted for in a fully satisfying way. This paper presents a close reading of “The Carasoyne” and highlight the way that MacDonald consciously employs motifs from Scottish folklore and ballads to create more unsettling fairies than the Victorian reader of literary fairy tales was accustomed to. The analysis draws on contemporary scholarship on the fairy figure in the British culture(s), as carried out by Caroline G. Silver, Nicola Bown and Diane Purkiss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65788OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-65788DiVA, id: diva2:1190525
Conference
George MacDonald's Scotland, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, July 19-21, 2017
Available from: 2018-03-14 Created: 2018-03-14 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Klingberg, Per

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf