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Bloody Chamber, The

Fireworks, Black Venus, The Company of Wolves

stories influence carter collection

a collection of stories by Angela Carter, published in 1979. The stories are united by their common origin in the world of European folklore and fable, refracted through the lens of contemporary critical and psychoanalytical theories; the influence of Freud, Propp, and Barthes may be discerned. Carter's lavish prose style also displays her affection for the gothic, and the influence of such masters of the modern tale as Borges, Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), and Christina Stead, first revealed in her experimental collection Fireworks (1974). The stories here are mostly interpretations of the fairytales of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Traditional children's stories such as Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, and Little Red Riding Hood are reworked to explore their repressed content: the violence and fear connected with the erotic, sexuality, and the unconscious, represented by metamorphoses and the figures of werewolves, were tigers, and other fantastic creatures. The legend of the vampire also appears, in female form. Carter's poetic prose, and her obvious joy in story-telling, make of the stories adult renderings of familiar fables, somewhat lighter than the radical critiques (virtually metafiction) contained in her later, related collection Black Venus (1985). Its influence can be discerned in the writings of Marina Warner, Jeanette Winterson, and Sara Maitland. A film, The Company of Wolves, was inspired by some of its tales.

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