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Snow White, Blood Red [Anglais] [Poche]

Ellen Datlow

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IN ITALY IN ONE OF THE EARLIEST RECORDED VERSIONS of the story of "Sleeping Beauty," the princess is awakened not by a kiss but by the suckling of the twin children she has given birth to, impregnated by the prince while she lay in her enchanted sleep. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.5 étoiles sur 5  28 commentaires
46 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't worry, they get better from here 5 février 2002
Par Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Publié sur
_Snow White, Blood Red_ was the first of Datlow and Windling's adult fairy tale anthologies, and I think that's part of the problem with it. The authors of the short stories herein were just beginning to try the fairy tale form, and a lot of them weren't quite sure what to do with it. "Hmmm," I can almost hear them saying, "they want me to adapt fairy tales for big folks? Well, a liberal helping of sex and gore should do it!"
Most of the stories in this collection are filled with visceral violence, and nauseated me. There is also a lot of sex. Now, normally I don't mind sex in books. But this isn't erotic sex, it tends to be twisted and sadistic sex and/or rape. It doesn't feel "sexy" at all; it just seems to be a further extension of the violence. Most of the stories don't bother being subtle or evocative when they can be gross and shocking instead.
A few exceptions: (1) The wonderful "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep", by Charles de Lint, about a young woman having a serial dream where she has to rescue the Moon from some nasty faeries, while her waking self doesn't know whether to take these nightly adventures seriously. (2) "Like a Red, Red Rose", which does have some blood, but is also a compelling Gothic story that reminds me of Hawthorne somehow. The heroine is a witch's daughter unaware of a family curse. (3) "The Princess in the Tower", a comedic Rapunzel variation set in Italy.
I think the de Lint story is the only one that will truly stay with me, and while it's very good, it's not worth buying SWBR. De Lint has several short story collections out--I don't remember which one "The Moon..." is in, but it shouldn't be hard to find. Other than that, this book is ultimately forgettable, not nearly as good as later volumes in the series.
90 internautes sur 106 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 I beg to differ. 9 septembre 2001
Par Ilana Teitelbaum - Publié sur
Let me start with some background info: I grew up on fairy tales, and later dove into the marvelous and complex world of adult fantasy. To me, the idea of rediscovering the raw and archetypal power of fairy tales is a brilliant one, and for this Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow are to be commended. With all their vast potential, fairy tales are too often relegated to the nursery and sanitized to destruction.
But there is a difference between exploring the potential fairy tales possess to touch adults and simply changing the rating on the cover, and unfortunately the latter is all that these editors have succeeded in doing. So the fairy tales are no longer rated G, instead they are rated R (and in some cases, X) for graphic sex and violence. The stories in themselves, rather than exploring deeper into the nature of myth, simply take old stories and add sex scenes. In fact there seems to be an obsession, all through this volume, with sex in general, and the more graphic the better. Blood and guts comes in for a close second.
Now there is nothing wrong with graphic sex and violence insofar as it adds to the story. However, the goal of these writers seems to be to simply give the fairy tales a *superficial* sense of the adult without exploring the deeper, uncharted waters. So a version of "Rapunzel," for example, will go into great detail at the beginning while the witch explains exactly how her father used to rape her. The explicit detail is completely gratuitous, and the storyline itself is a banal rewrite of the original. So we get to see Rapunzel have sex with the prince. How deep and interesting. To think, all these years and I had no idea what they did...
Then there's "Snowdrop" by Tanith Lee, a totally pointless story which seems little more than a spiffed-up Snow White with a lesbian sex scene to make things more "adult." Such a preoccupation with graphic, pointless sex is not adult; it is adolescent. The end result is that this anthology performs the rather dubious task of removing fairy tales from the nursery and putting them in the adult novelty store instead.
Naturally, my complaint would not apply if these were good stories, but they seem to have been picked solely by dint of their sex and blood. Who needs it?
The extra star is for Patricia A. McKillip's "The Snow Queen," which is subtle, beautiful, and erotic rather than crudely sexual. I am sorely tempted to photocopy it and give away the rest.
If you are actually one of those people who sees adult fairy tales as having far more to do with changing the rating from G to X, I would recommend "Beauty" and "The Door in the Hedge" by Robin McKinley. Alas, there are not too many out there, but hopefully if this anthology has done anything, it has perhaps created a new genre.
48 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Empty Entertainment 20 octobre 2001
Par Paul McGrath - Publié sur
Even as children, I think, in the back of our minds we always knew that the fairy-tales we read were a little darker than we were led to believe. The wicked stepmother, for example, was probably the real mother; it was probably more than a kiss which awakened Sleeping Beauty; and the hungry wolf--with the drool running down his lips--was probably hungry for other than just food. It was with some curiosity then, that I picked up this anthology, the stories of which are, for the most part, modern-day reworkings of these classic fairy-tales.

And for the first half of the book I was quite entertained. It was interesting to see how the authors would rework these things to more adult, modern sensibilities. Rapunzel's mother kept her daughter locked in a tower because she hated men--her father raped her when she was a child. The wolf of the Little Red Riding Hood story is redone here--twice--as a stalking, predatory child-molester. And Jack, of Beanstalk fame, is lured to the giant's cloudy castle by the giant's lusty wife, a wench in search of an earthling to tryst with.

About half way through the thing, though, I began to notice a certain similarity in these tales: all of the men were horrid, selfish beasts. Worse, they were horrid, selfish, ONE-DIMENSIONAL beasts. Boring. And then I got to the story called The Snow Queen. This is the one story in the anthology which is based on a fairy-tale with which I was unfamiliar. Without the underlying subtext, I was forced to rely on more traditional ways of understanding. You know, like plot, structure, and character development. Those sorts of things. And lo and behold, the story fell flat on its face. The characterizations were either woefully simple or bizarre and unbelievable; the setting was unrecognizable; and the plotting was of the weird, scratch-your-head variety. Of course, if I had read the fairy-tale, it might have made more sense. But I hadn't, and it didn't.

And therein lies the problem with the whole thing. Unless you know the stories--and admittedly most of us do--you'll find that these new reworkings are mostly stale. All are thematically empty, and in retrospect this was to be expected: the goal, after all, was only to artificially recreate fairy-tales. Even in the better stories, this is exactly as far as they were able to go.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Marvelous Anthology 12 janvier 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur
When I was a child, fairy tales, both Eastern and Western, were simply a routine part of my life. As an adult, I have found very few books of "adult fantasy" that really hold my interest, but Datlow and Windling's Adult Fairy Tale Series is something special.
Snow White, Blood Red is a volume of about twenty fairy tales, reworked by some of the best writers in the fantasy, science fiction and horror genres. In fact, there are times when more than one writer will give his or her own unique version of an old fairy tale, making this book all the more special and unique.
I think the introductions by Datlow and Windling only serve to enrich the book and make it all the more special. In "White as Snow," Windling discusses fairy tales in general in terms of the fantasy element; in "Red as Blood," Datlow writes about the horror elements so often found in stories of this type.
There are many styles, voices and styles represented in this book, so I feel there is definitely something here for everyone. In "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep," Charles de Lint weaves elements of an old English folk tale into a mythical and magical city as he explores the boundaries of dreams and reality (which are not so distinct as one might think). I found "The Frog Prince," (which deals with Freud and a frog) and "Stalking Beans" to contain elements of humor as well as fantasy. "Snow-Drop" is a wonderful retelling of the story of Snow White, while "Persimmon" retells the story of Thumbelina, but this time, with a lot more wit.
There are two retellings of the stories of both Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, and while both provide new and unique subject matter, both retain much from the original story, all to their credit. I especially liked Neil Gaiman's retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff in "The Troll Bridge." This is a dark, haunting and melancholy piece that should make any reader feel more than a touch wistful for times gone by.
Not all of the stories are wistful or beautiful, though. Some do explore the darker aspects of the fairy tales most of us grew to love as children. "Puss," a retelling of the Puss in Boots story is one of them. I didn't really like this rather gruesome tale, but it does serve to round out the anthology.
The most beautiful story, by far, however, is a modern retelling of "The Snow Queen" by Patricia McKillip. This story alone makes the volume well worth owning.
It is obvious that Datlow and Windling set very high standards in deciding which stories to use in this volume and this is not a book for unsophisticated readers. While there were one or two stories I didn't particularly like and probably won't reread, I can't deny that they are all very well-written and present new ideas and perspectives on old fairy and folk tales.
If you're an adult who simply can't get your fill of fairy tales, I would highly recommend this anthology. The writing is first-rate, the authors have remained true to the essence of the original tale while bringing us a fresh, new perspective and the stories, in and of themselves, are just plain good. All in all, a wonderful book.
23 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Fairy Tales for Adults 30 juillet 2000
Par AllieKat - Publié sur
This is not the first book that Datlow and Windling have edited that I have read. The first book of theirs that I bought was "Black Swan, White Raven." I expected this book to live up to the standards set by the first book I read and I was not disappointed. It's a wonderful collection of fairy tales for adults, ranging from dark to poignant to humorous, and were frequently erotic. These fairy tales are much more satifying than the "once-upon-a-time-happily-ever-after" fairy tales that most of us were accustomed to hearing as children. It has a wide range of brilliant authors, each offering a unique perspective to different tales. It is a wonderful, well-rounded book that I was loathe to put down. If you like fairy tales, then this is a *must* for you.
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