Fairy Tales, Inequalities, and “Eşit Masallar”Ürün Şen Sönmez
Despite not being able to make any singleagreed-upon definition, the tale can be described by highlighting some of its features or drawing the boundaries of the genre. Different classifications are made according to the qualities that enable these boundaries to be drawn. Denominations such as oral tales, classical tales, and postmodern taleshave emerged as a result of to draw boundaries, classify, and name. Classical tales are formed through the literalization, moralization, and writing of oral tales, transforming them into ideological texts of bourgeois culture, lifestyle, and morality, and fairy tales, which include both classical and oral tales as well as their predecessors are the subject of very lively discussions all over the world today. Since the second half of the 20th century in particular, the critical accumulation of classical tales has also been enriched by the increase in attempts to destroy them. These attempts at destruction have mostly been carried out with regard to the power relations and gender stereotypes in these tales. In this context, classical tales are being destroyed and rewritten. The texts produced in this way can be called postmodern tales with an overview. When considering these attitudes, this denomination can be criticized as being too inclusive, if not inaccurate or incomplete. In addition, definitions that reveal the intention are also used, such as anti-tales, conflicting tales, counter tales, progressive tales, tales of liberation, and equality tales. The present study analyzes the reproductions in the Eşit Masallar” in the context of gender and power relations by establishing parallels with the ideological transformation of tales from the classical to the postmodern period and the critical accumulation that has been built.
Peri Masalı, Eşitsizlikler ve “Eşit Masallar”Ürün Şen Sönmez
Tek ve üzerinde uzlaşılmış bir tanımı yapılamasa da masal, bazı özellikleri öne çıkarılarak tarif edilebilir ya da türün sınırları çizilebilir. Bu sınırların çizilmesini sağlayan niteliklere göre de farklı tasnifler yapılır. Sözlü masallar, klasik masallar, postmodern masallar vb. adlandırmalar bir sınır çizme, sınıflandırma ve adlandırma çabasının sonucunda ortaya çıkmıştır. Sözlü masalların edebîleştirilip ahlakileştirilerek yazıya geçirilmeleri ile oluşan, burjuva kültürünün, yaşam biçiminin, ahlakının ideolojik metinlerine dönüştürülen klasik masallar ve hem onları hem de onların öncüllerini kapsayan peri masalı, bugün tüm dünyada oldukça canlı bir tartışmanın konusudur. Özellikle 20. asrın ikinci yarısından itibaren klasik masalları yıkmaya yönelik girişimlerin artmasıyla, klasik masallara yönelik eleştirel birikim de zenginleşmiştir. Söz konusu yıkma girişimleri çoğunlukla masallardaki iktidar ilişkileri ve cinsiyet kalıpları üzerinden yürütülür. Bu bağlamda klasik masallar yıkılır ve yeniden yazılır. Bu şekilde üretilen metinlere genel bir bakışla postmodern masallar denebilir. Tutum göz önüne alındığında bu adlandırma hatalı ya da eksik değilse de fazla kapsayıcı olmakla eleştirilebilir. Bunun yanında anti masal, karşı masal, karşıt masal, ilerlemeci masal, özgürleştirici masal, eşit masal gibi niyeti açık eden tanımlar da kullanılır. Bu çalışmada “Eşit Masallar” serisindeki yeniden üretimler, toplumsal cinsiyet ve iktidar ilişkileri bağlamında masalın klasikten postmoderne geçirdiği ideolojik dönüşüm ve inşa edilen eleştirel birikimle koşutluklar kurularak çözümlenmiştir.
Tales are a genre that have been described in many different ways from different perspectives. Nevertheless, giving one single absolute definition of what a tale is is now widely accepted to be impossible. In this regard, studies on tales or discussions around tales are not limited to folklore these days. A serious critical accumulation of gender and power structures have been gathered in classical tales created through the literalization and domestication of fairy tales, and the moves made to destroy classical tales, especially since the second half of the 20th century, have been strong enough to form a vein. Although these tales are called postmodern tales and have a very comprehensive definition, explaining every rewritten tale with this quality alone is not enough. Hence, names such as counter tale, equaltale, liberation tales, progressive tale, and anti-tale have also been used for rewritten tales. The debates around these rewritings and the criticisms and analyses toward them have also been directed toward the structures in classical tales that were destroyed and what these structures represent, rather than discussions about genres and names. Rewritten tales do not just destroy these structures, they often build new ones in their place. The critique and analysis of postmodern tales has as much to do with what has been constructed or transformed as much as what has beendestroyed. Generally, postmodern tales often use two ways to destroy classical tales: Either they transform the structure, symbols, and metaphors of the classical tale to which they refer with very clear signs, or they create a more pluralistic mosaic of images, or in other words, the move to destroy is directed more toward the text and what it represents. The texts that are often taken as a basis for destruction or transformation tend to be based on the productions of writers who’ve literalized and domesticated tales, such as the Brothers Grimm, Perrault, and Andersen. Sometimes,the variants that Disney are seen to produce are also based on including a criticism of the transformation of tales into a cultural industry. The most important pointsall these works that are wanted to be destroyed have in common is that they impose a patriarchal morality and bourgeois culture, cut the emancipatory and egalitarian roots of oral tales in order to literalize them, and in so doing, domesticate them. Therefore, all rewritings that aim to destroy or transform classical tales also search for the possibility of another life. By prioritizing being disturbing and shocking, some of these reconsider the normality of the structure in question and are mostly aimed at adults. Others transform a familiar example by clearly emphasizing its message. Reproductions in this second group are usually aimed at children and basically reflect the imagination of an equal world. Discussions around tales in Turkey are quite limited compared to those in the West. The fact that the process of development and change regarding classical tales in the West did not take place in Turkey is certainly an important factor. However, most of the classical tales were transformed into materials in the style of capitalist consumption, first by industrializing children's literature and then under the influence of Disney. The genre we call tales today continues to be spread and reproduced not as a folk narrative, but rather through translations of classical tales and cartoons certainly through all the kinds of consumer goods in which the characters in these cartoons are processed. Although examples do exist of counter-tales or postmodern tales produced for adults and children in Turkey, this vein cannot be said to be a very strong one yet. Therefore, a dynamic critical accumulation on the subject has yet to be formed. For this reason, the “Eşit Masallar” series can be considered a significant move. Although “Eşit Masallar” from time to time paradoxically parallel the moral and educational attitudes of modern classical tales and literalized tales, the aim is quite clearly to show children that a world with gender equality is possible using examples from classical tales that have been transformed and rewritten. So formally, the texts in this genre can be considered as postmodern tales. However, some inconsistencies are seen when investigating whether these tales are able to construct the promised equality discourse; whether they destroy the inequalities, power relations, and patriarchal norms in classical tales; and thus whether they carry out a profound transformation. The present study analyzes the rewrites of Little Red Riding Hood from Perrault, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs transformed from the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella’s Riddle, Rapunzel, and the Frog Prince in the context of gender and power relations by establishing parallels with the ideological transformation that occurs in the tale from the classical to the postmodern versions as well the critical accumulations that have been constructed.