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The Tale of Bluebeard in German LiteratureFrom the Eighteenth Century to the Present$
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Mererid Puw Davies

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242757.001.0001

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Narratives of Origin

Narratives of Origin

(p.71) 3 Narratives of Origin
The Tale of Bluebeard in German Literature

Mererid Puw Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses scholarship on ‘Blaubart’. Studies of the Bluebeard material are best read not as expositions of its origins, but as interpretations or even retellings of that material which tell us less about its putative past meanings than about its contemporary significance and the way it reflects contemporary ideas about marriage, Märchen, and civilization. Although the theories of origin discussed in the chapter appear at first sight to form an extremely disparate and inconclusive body, they in fact involve significant underlying similarities, from which symptomatic conclusions may be drawn that reveal much about the changing meanings of the Blaubartmärchen over the last hundred years.

Keywords:   Blaubart, marriage, civilization, interpretations, origins

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