Feb-Mar Newsletter for the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy

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Sussex Centr e for Folk lor e, Fairy tales a nd Fa ntasy Newsletter February/March 2013

Inside this Issue

From Steampunk to Pullman and Beyond. . . . . . . . . . . 3 Storytelling, storywriting, storyprinting . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 ‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’:   A Fairy-Tale Symposium. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Grimm Girls: Picturing the Fairy-Tale Princess . . . . . . . . 5 Terri Windling to join Centre’s Advisory and   Editorial Boards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Dr Anne Anderson becomes Visiting Research Fellow . . . . . 7 Cunning Folk, Toad Doctors and Girdle Measurers . . . . . . 8 The Sackman (and other stories) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Unsettling Wonder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Gramarye 3 contents – a sneak peek . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Gramarye 2: new outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 THRESHOLDS 2013 competition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Beasts in Legend and Tradition: CfP. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 The Grimm Fairy Tale Connection Browser. . . . . . . . . 17 2

From Steampunk to Pullman and beyond Exploring the varieties of ‘punk’ Tuesday 5 March, 4.30 – 6 p.m., H144


RAUKE MATZ, LECTURER in English at Duisburg-Essen University and author of He Simply Went to Pieces, presents this overview of steampunk, cyberpunk, mythpunk, etc.

Storytelling, storywriting, storyprinting: Telling tales and the origins of children’s books The Mitre lecture hall, 11 March 2013, 5.15 – 7 p.m.


UTH BOTTIGHEIMER (author of Fairy Tales: A New History and Grimm’s Bad Girls and Bold Boys) and Matthew Grenby (author of Children’s Literature and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature) will share the platform at the first ever joint event to be co-hosted by the South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group (SCERRG) and the Sussex Centre. Matthew Grenby, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at Newcastle University and editor of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, will present his talk on ‘Household Tales: the Oral Tradition, the Manuscript Tradition and the Origins of Children’s Literature’, followed by Ruth Bottigheimer, Research Professor in the Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University, New York, and a specialist in European fairy tales and British children’s literature, whose talk will be ‘East and West in The Arabian Nights’.


‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’: A Fairy-Tale Symposium


N TUESDAY 26 March, Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota and founding father of the academic discipline of Fairy Tale Studies, will give a lecture at the University of Chichester. He’ll be preceded by talks by children’s literature expert Nick Tucker and by Jacqueline Simpson, Visiting Professor of Folklore at the University of Chichester. This fairy tale symposium will run as follows:

3 p.m.

Jacqueline Simpson

‘Terry Pratchett, Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men’ 4.15 p.m.

Nicholas Tucker ‘Grimm Parents’ 6 p.m.

Jack Zipes

‘Once Upon a Time: Changing the World through Storytelling’. Tuesday 26 March Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester, College Lane, Chichester PO19 6PE 4

More details to follow; if you have any queries please contact Heather Robbins at h.robbins@chi.ac.uk

Grimm Girls: Picturing the Fairy-Tale Princess 23 November 2013 - 12 January 2014


his exhibition will feature illustrations by various artists of six tales of Grimm, Perrault, and others – ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’. A one-day symposium, on Monday 25 November, will see Terri Windling, Maria Nikolajeva and Jack Zipes, and exhibition curator and Visiting Research Fellow Dr Anne Anderson, present talks on the art of illustrating fairy tales.

Terri Windling to join the Centre’s Advisory and Editorial Boards


HE SUSSEX CENTRE is delighted to announce that Terri Windling, the writer, editor and artist specialising in fantasy literature and mythic arts, has accepted our invitation to join the Advisory Board of the Sussex Centre and the Editorial Board of its journal Gramarye. Windling has published over forty books, winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and being short­ listed for the Tiptree Award. She received the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Solstice Award in 2010 for ‘outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field as a writer, editor, artist, educator, and mentor’, and has recently been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. Her work has been translated into French, German,


Spanish, Italian, Czech, Russian, Turkish, Korean, and Japanese. Her mythic fiction includes The Wood Wife, the Borderlands series and many picture books for children, while her essays on myth, folklore and mythic arts have appeared in magazines, art books and anthologies in the United States and Europe. A contributor to the Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and Panorama illustrÊ de la fantasy & du merveilleux, she has also edited numerous anthologies, many with Ellen Datlow, such as the Snow White, Blood Red and Retold Fairy Tales series, as well as 16 issues of the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, publishing the works of A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Vikram Chandra, Susanna Clarke, Charles de Lint, Louise Erdrich, Pierrette Fleutiaux, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Ursula Le Guin, Gregory Maguire, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Steven Millhauser, Haruki Murakami, Peter Straub, Jane Yolen, and many more. Her art has exhibited in the United States and Europe, including shows at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, The Words and Pictures Museum, and The Book Arts Gallery. Founder of the Endicott Studio, an organisation dedicated to myth-inspired arts, she co-edited the Journal of Mythic Arts from 1987-2008 and currently sits on the board of the Mythic Imagination Institute.


Dr Anne Anderson becomes Visiting Research Fellow


R ANNE ANDERSON, Hon. Research Fellow at Exeter University and Hon. Research Associate at the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, has been appointed Visiting Research Fellow of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy. Anderson has been in close contact with the Centre from its inception. In 2013 she will curate an exhibit of fairy tale illustrations at the Otter Gallery and organise the accompanying symposium featuring talks by Maria Nikolajeva, Terri Windling and Jack Zipes. Anne was also the curator of the very successful exhibition ‘The Truth about Faeries’, which toured the UK from 2009 while she was curator and exhibition manager at Southampton City Art Gallery. Anne received her PhD in English at Exeter University on ‘Women and British Aestheticism c.18601900’, and since then she has lectured for several Universities as well as a doing a lecturing tour of Europe and Australia for NADFAS. She received the Cumming Ceramics Research Scholarship twice for projects relating to 19th-century ceramics, and has been made a fellow of the Fletcher Jones Foundation, the Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum and Library; and the Society of Antiquaries of London. She has served on committees for the Victorian Society and the Women’s History Network, and was Vice-Chair of the Friends of Southampton City Museums, Archives and Art Galleries. She has authored and edited several books, papers and exhibition catalogues on fine art and ceramics, including Interpreting Pottery, Roman Pottery Research in Britain and North West Europe, and The Truth About Faeries From A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Lord of the Rings.


Cunning Folk, Toad Doctors and Girdle Measurers


ROF. BILL GRAY has made several highprofile radio appearances over the past month to provide answers to many strange and fantastical questions; for an overview article in the Chichester Observer, go here. One of the recent live interviews was on Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 2 show, Tuesday 15 January, on the topic of charmers, toad doctors and other cunning folk. Here is a transcript of the interview. SM: Last night [...] we were talking about the old English folk magic of charming, in fact it was my quiz question, about toad doctors and cunning folk and all that kind of stuff. Here to explain more, Bill Gray, the Professor of Literary History and the director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester - what a title! Hello Bill. BG: Hello again Simon. SM: Very nice to have you on; you’re our professional folklorist on the programme - in fact we’d like to have you on BBC staff if that’s ok? Uh, that was a joke. So, charmers, the history of the charmer, and presumably its directly connected with our phrase ‘oh he’s a right charmer’?


BG: Yes I think so, in the sense that charmers always pretend to be on the side of the angels, they pretend to be good, whereas other forms of magicians are quite openly on the dark side. Charmers always claim to be on the side of the good, which is why there’s always a suggestion of them being hypocrites - which is why when we

call someone a real charmer there’s a little bit of suspicion in there always, I think. SM: So what sort of things do these charmers do in the English folklore sense of the word? BG: Very specifically, they heal certain illnesses. Usually they specialise in one or two illnesses and they would have very specific remedies. They were quite different from other sorts of magician around at the time. SM: Ok, so when we were having this conversation yesterday we split this discussion and there were cunning folk and there were toad doctors and - these are great names for prog rock bands, basically - cunning folk and toad doctors and girdle measurers. Who were these people? BG: Oh, the cunning folk are the more widespread term. It goes all over Europe, and it’s any kind of magic. It was really a kind of second job for many people in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The other names are much more specific. A girdle measurer literally tested your wellbeing by measuring your waist. I suppose funnily enough that’s actually a very good way, we’ve realised nowadays, of finding out someone’s health, but of course what they prescribed as a remedy for your problems would have been quite different. SM: Yes, and the toad doctors? Presumably - did they mend toads or did they suggest you ate toads? BG: Actually I found that meaning of ‘toad doctors’ online, you know, ‘doctors for toads’! But no, these are folk that thought they could heal people by hanging a toad or, more horribly, a bit of a toad, round people’s necks, again with certain charms and incantations.


SM: Just thinking about what you were saying about the girdle measurers there earlier, I mean presumably with all these arts and, you know, superstitions, that’s not really a great power is it? Because they went out and measured your waist and that’s something anyone could do. BG: But it’s what they did next. I mean, they took the girdle, or belt I suppose, and cut it up and did various things: they buried it, or they did magical things with it which were supposed to sort out the particular problem that you had, which could be just health or some other kind of problem because all these different wonder workers dealt with very different sorts of problems, from not having the person that you loved or having your property nicked or people going missing or your cattle getting sick. It was not as specific, not as specialised, as modern health workers. SM: I get the feeling, Bill, that if there were cunning folk and toad doctors around now they’d probably publish a best-selling dietary book and we’d all buy it and it’d be serialised in the papers. BG: Well absolutely. I mean, it’s the idea that the reason that I am a bit tubbier than I was before Christmas, when I last spoke to you, is not because I’ve eaten too much or drunk too much; it’s probably because some colleague at work has probably been in touch with a magician or a wonder worker who’s cast a spell on me so that I need to hire someone to track them down.


SM: That’s it! It’s not my fault, it’s not because I ate too many mince pies; it’s because someone put a spell on me. Bill, very good to speak to you again, thank you very much indeed, very good. Professor of Literary History and Director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester, it’s Bill Gray!

The Sackman (and other stories)


HE BBC WORLD SERVICE programme ‘The Why Factor’ recently interviewed Bill Gray and Maria Tatar about the origins of the Sackman. You can hear the podcast, with tales of Nightrunners, Grýla the ogress and Zwarte Piet here. Maria Tatar: We do have this collective myth about a fellow, usually male but sometimes female, with a sack on his back. Mike Williams: Maria Tatar chairs the programme in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University in the USA, and coming up is Bill Gray, Professor of Literary History and the Interpretation of Texts at the University of Chichester in England. Bill Gray: The Sandman comes along with a bag of sand which he throws in their eyes, which makes them sleepy. MW: In the 19th century this folktale was written down and made darker, much darker. It’s within these tales that we’ve lodged our fears, fears of others and what they might do, and fears about what we might do, fears of our own primitive, animalistic urges. BG: The Sandman comes along and throws sand in the eyes of children, which makes their eyes pop out, with lots of blood, and then he picks them up and puts them in his bag; he’s a kind of Sackman. MT: In Russia it would be Baba Yaga. BG: And he takes them back to his babies in the Moon and they gobble up the eyes. MT: You know, these days all you have to say is ‘The Sandman’ to conjure up the image of a fellow with a sack. In Germany it’s not only St Nicholas


but also Black Peter who’s got that sack on his back and is going to pick up naughty children, so we do have these monsters that I think reflect our fear of the appetites of the Other, that there is someone out there who will not only murder you but also devour you. MW: And to become civilised, we must suppress the brutal within us. BG: At one level they were used originally just as a tool, a technique of getting children to go to sleep. That doesn’t really explain why when we’re adults we’re still fascinated by those kinds of stories. What Freud would say, I think, is that those stories, they often take place at twilight, between worlds, and they evoke, they represent that in-between stage when we’re just moving from one more primitive state into another, the idea that all of us carry within us traces of an older, more primitive way of being, that basically we take what we want when we want it, however that’s expressed. And we’re haunted by the fact that to be who we are we have in some ways to give up a very deep part of ourselves that we never quite escape from. MW: From about the 19th century these folktales migrated into literature, specifically for children. BG: Folklore, the stories of the people, were simply told to the group; children weren’t separated out, they were part of the family, the community, so stories had to connect with people whether they were adults or children. The idea that the child was a different kind of being really goes back to the beginning of the 19th century; before then children were just small adults.


MT: Lewis Carroll referred to children as ‘fabulous monsters’. I’ve always thought that that phrase really captured our ambivalence about children.

On the one hand we love them, we’re fascinated by them, we’re protective of them; but on the other hand they can also be little monsters and they love all the things that adults hate, noise and dirt, they’re playful and then they do not like to sleep. I think in many ways we’ve conjured up these monsters because there are times when ancestors often wanted to get the child to go to sleep.

Unsettling Wonder


HE INAUGURAL ISSUE of Unsettling Wonder, a new literary journal of folklore studies, is now available for purchase: http://www.unsettlingwonder.com/shop/unsettling-wonder-v1-1/. Centered around the theme of ‘Wonder Voyages’, the issue features works by Claire Massey, Johnny Wink, Patrick Weck, Katherine Langrish, and Jennifer Povey.

Gr amarye 3 Contents: a Sneak Peek


PCOMING CONTENTS OF Gramarye Issue 3 (available from April) are currently planned as: • ‘The Well of D’Yerree-in-Dowan’, Patrick Ryan • ‘Hans Christian Andersen: It’s Me The Story’s About’, Neil Philip • ‘Death and a pickled onion – the construction of fan culture and fan identity in the Hogswatch celebration of Wincanton’, Jakob Löfgren • A review of Alan Lee’s work, Anne Anderson


• Interview with Alan Lee • ‘Dragon Stories, West and East’, Rosalind Kerven • A review of Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young and Old, Francisco da Silva • A review of Colin Manlove’s The Order of Harry Potter: Literary Skill in the Hogwarts Epic and Palgrave Macmillan’s J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter, Jane Carroll • A review of Angela Carter and Decadence. Critical Fictions/Fictional Critiques, Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère • A review of Sophia Kingshill’s Lore of the Sea, Jacqueline Simpson • A review of Nancy Marie Brown’s Song of the Vikings, Jacqueline Simpson • A review of Jane Carroll’s Landscape in Children’s Literature, Naomi Wood • A review of P. Davies’ The Fairies Return, Or, New Tales for Old, Andrew Teverson

Gr amarye 2: New Outlets


SSUE 2 OF Gramarye is available to buy here. This issue is a special illustrated edition featuring work by Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Mel Grant, Arthur Rackham, Adelaide Claxton, Margaret Jones, Edmund Dulac and many more. Contents are: • ‘To tell or not to tell: are fairy tales suitable for children?’, Nicholas Tucker and Jacqueline Simpson continue their BBC Radio 4 debate;


• ‘A review of Brian Froud’s work’, Anne Anderson, curator of Froud/Lee exhibit ‘The Truth About Faeries’;

• An interview with Brian Froud and a preview of his latest work, Trolls; • ‘Gwyn ap Nudd: Transfigurations of a Character on the way from Medieval Literature to Neo-Pagan Beliefs’, Angelika H. Rüdiger; • ‘Count Stoneheart and the First Christmas Tree’, a retelling of a traditional tale by bestselling fantasy author Kate Forsyth; • ‘My Favourite Story when I was young’, Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère; • ‘Herne’, Steve O’Brien; • ‘Whatever happened to the Pixies? The Shrinking Role of Snap, Crackle and Pop in British Rice Krispies Advertising’, Louise Jolly; • A review of Tim Killick (ed.) and Alan Cunningham’s Traditional Tales, Sophia Kingshill; • A review of Jan Susina’s The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children’s Literature, Colin Manlove; • A review of Giselle Liza Anatol’s Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on the Pop Culture Phenomenon, Malini Roy; • A review of Stephen Asma’s On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, Miles Leeson.

Subscribing A two-year subscription, for four copies of Gramarye in total, is available here.

New outlets You will also be able to purchase Gramarye from: • Waterstone’s, Chichester • Dave’s Comics, Brighton


• • • • • • •

Amazon Search Inside Kim’s Bookshop, Chichester Atlantis, London Treadwells, London Precinct Books, Haying Island Way Out There And Back, Littlehampton Lunartique, Bristol

THRESHOLDS 2013 Feature Writing Competition.


HE THRESHOLDS INTERNATIONAL Short Story Forum is the only online forum dedicated to the reading, writing and study of the short story form. The Feature Writing Competition is free to enter, and this year there are two categories of entry – Author Profiles and We Recommend – with a £500 first prize and a £100 runner-up prize for each category. Essays for Author Profiles should explore the life, work and influence of a single short story writer, while We Recommend essays should be personal recommendations of a collection, anthology, group of short stories or single short story.


The judges hope to see a range of styles and approaches in the Competition entries. They will be looking, above all, at the quality of the prose in each feature submitted, the insights offered, and the author’s ability to engage his/her readers. You can find the winning essay from the 2012 THRESHOLDS Feature Writing Competition here: ‘H.P. Lovecraft’ by Geoff Holder. The Competition closes on 27 March 2013, midnight GMT. Full details and competition rules are available on The Forum.

Beasts in Legend and Tr adition: Call for Papers 7 – 8 September 2013, Paignton Zoo, Devon


HE EIGHTH LEGENDARY Weekend of the Folklore Society is looking for contributions on the theme of animals in culture. Elephants never forget, but not all that we remember from the bestiary is reliable: we need a learned pig or a talking dog to tell false from true, the griffin from the bonacon. Only a saint can pull the thorn from the lion’s foot and bring harmony to men and beasts: what is real, what is allegory or proverb or fable in the things we think we know about animals? Presentations, which should be 20 minutes long, can take the form of talks, performances, or DVD. If you would like to attend or to present a paper or performance, please contact Jeremy Harte at JHarte@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

The Grimm Fairy Tale Connection Browser


HIS ONLINE TOOL lets the user explore relationships between words and stories in the collection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. Go to http://neoformix.com/Projects/GrimmsExplorer/


Feedback Please contact Heather Robbins (h.robbins@chi.ac.uk) with any suggestions or feedback