Publication details

Fairy tale characters: their denotation, connotation and translation



Year of publication 2013
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The anthropological and ethnological studies proofed that in the shared European cultural space some of the fairy tale motifs and characters became the subject of the "cultural exchange". Therefore we can find characters out of Ancient Mythology co-existing side by side with the North-European mythological creatures, and at the same time the original connotations of both were overshadowed and altered by the Christian symbolism. Despite this cultural "cosmopolitism" of classical fairy tales many cultures preserve a unique set of traits of the fairy tale characters, based on the local historical, social and religious conditions, customs and experiences that distinguish them from other varieties. The analytic studies on fairy tales, such as the Morphology of the Folktale by Vladimir Propp, focus mainly on the description of the basic narrative elements and motifs and their concern for the characters goes only as far as establishing their relationship with the main character (such as antagonist or helper). Thus the translation of the fairy tales isn’t seen as a problematic one, precisely because of the common motifs and the general characteristics of the characters. The present paper will try to find an answer to the question whether or not is it possible to conserve all of the unique traits of the fairy tale characters in the translation process and whether or not we can properly transfer the connotations related to them into a language where the cultural background lacks this type of character or its connotation is completely different.

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