Christine Jones


This article addresses the woman teller’s identity in the literary fairy tales of France. The author rereads prefaces and images that scholars have used to demonstrate the woman teller’s literarity to argue rather for her “frivolity,” a word the women themselves use to describe their writing. The essay finds that frivolity is an aesthetic principle at the heart of the women’s poetic project that marks their difference from even the Modern partisans of the great literary debate. The principle of frivolity is captured in an image that recurs in prefaces by the writers: the “modern” fairy.