Spanish Women Writers and the Fairy Tale: Creation, Subversion, Allusion


  • Janet Pérez Texas Tech University


This investigation has two purposes, first to update parts of my work on Spanish women writers and the fairy tale by incorporating relevant works published by them in the last 15 years, and second, to exemplify the numerous and varied uses made by Spanish women writers o f the fairy tale: 1) writing their own original fairy tales and/or lengthy adaptations or extensions of extant "classical" tales, 2) parody and metaphor, in which the fairy tale's presence is reduced at times to intertextual allusions, and 3) passing references to fairy tales or their characters, some ofwhich function as surrogate representatives for patriarchal values. Although Spain has not produced specialists in the feminist fairy tale per se (in the tradition of such Anglophone writers as Angela Carter, Tanith Lee, Meghan Collins and Ursula LeGuin, for example), postwar Spanish women writers including not only major figures such as Carmen Martín Gaite and Ana María Matute but also highly-regarded authors including Teresa Barbero, Esther Tusquets and Nùria Pompeia, refer specifically and repeatedly to fairy tales, often in conjunction with the novela rosa, almost the only regime-tolerated reading for girls and young women in the Franco era except religious materials.