Kai Mikkonen


This article explores three narrative devices that affect the reading of fairy tales in Carter’s novel: the treatment of characters as figures of speech; the narrator’s unreliability and doubling into a “narrating” and “experiencing” self; and polygenetic intertextuality, or the multiplication of textual allusions within single units. These devices enable critical and parodic readings of time, gender, and desire in the quest narrative tradition of the German literary Märchen, as the article shows by examining the novel’s relation to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tales and the Grimms’ “Sleeping Beauty.”