Bluebeard's Legacy: Death and Secrets from Bartók to

The story of the serial wife-murderer Bluebeard, his defiant, and surviving, ultimate spouse, a bloodied key and a mystery chamber of horrors, has interested writers, composers, artists and film-makers all through smooth instances. it's a targeted tale that dares to reveal and discover masculine violence: the homme fatal.

This  transdisciplinary e-book explores the deep allure of the Bluebeard tale for twentieth-century tradition. Its significant concentration is how the modernist mind's eye used the weather of Bluebeard’s story to discover masculinity’s anxieties within the face of the rising calls for of girls for redefinition and sexual equality: anxieties additionally of ethnic and cultural distinction, and primary disquiet approximately sexuality, pathology and violence within the masculine.

Starting with investigations into Bartók’s opera 'Duke Bluebeard’s Castle', significant cultural thinkers, together with Elisabeth Bronfen, Ian Christie, Griselda Pollock and Maria Tatar, hint Bluebeard’s evolution from Perrault within the 17th century  to the cinematic hommes fatals of Méliès, Fritz Lang and Hitchcock.

The result's an exciting kaleidoscope of sexuality, interest, violence and death.

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Additional resources for Bluebeard's Legacy: Death and Secrets from Bartók to Hitchcock (New Encounters: Arts, Cultures, Concepts)

Example text

And is this not further underscored by the fact that the action of ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’ takes place in—of all places—a ruelle? The term ‘ruelle’ means, literally, the space between the wall and the bed, and this is the naïve interpretation assumed by commentators. However, the term ‘ruelle’ had a very specific meaning in seventeenthcentury literary circles, since it was the precisely the term used for the space where a salonnière would receive her guests. 20 The folklorist Alan Dundes points out that ‘in purely oral fairy tales (Aarne–Thompson tale types 300–749) the initial victim is rarely if ever killed permanently.

Like Dr Petersen, the ‘love-smitten analyst playing a dream detective’ in Hitchcock’s Spellbound, Celia must unlock the door to a childhood memory and show how it is the source of the hero’s psychosis. The epigraph to Spellbound reveals just how intimately the knowledge system of psychoanalysis is linked to a mythic discourse connected with the stories of Bluebeard’s wife and of Pandora. Psychoanalysis becomes the key to decoding trauma, a deeply analytic investigative move that opens up a space containing forbidden impulses.

Is it possible, then, to speculate that Perrault was marking, somewhat in the manner of a tomcat, a masculine usurpation and destruction of the feminine role through trickery and sexual murder? In ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’, the wolf both masquerades as female and ingests his female victims. At the same time, Perrault effectively ingests the feminine role whilst masquerading as a woman storyteller. He thereby becomes both the wolf ’s double and, since the clandestine nature of the wolf ’s activities are transferred to the subsequent tale (‘La Barbe Bleue’), a stage in the development of Bluebeard himself.

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