The hypertextual and hypericonic expansions of the tale Snow White (Lille)

Cycle: “One day, one tale”

The Hypertextual and Hypericonic Expansions of the Snow White Tale

International Symposium University of Lille

Bochra Charnay and Thierry Charnay

March 27-28, 2023

“Of course, even if there is continuity for the most part, this does not exclude that there have been many renewals […] Folklores are living, circulating things, each of which feeds on borrowings, undergoes influences. —Georges Dumézil[1]

The ambition of this cycle “Un jour, un conte” is, on the one hand, to put the tale genre back as a privileged object of academic research, and on the other hand to question its reconfigurations whatever the semiotic object. . The notions, which make it possible to account for these phenomena of “transcription” (Maurice Bouchor), are innumerable and varied: hypotext-hypertext, parody, rewriting, adaptation (Christiane Connan-Pintado), reformulation, transposition, reappropriation, transfictionality (Richard Saint-Gelais), reinstantiation (Gérard Genette, Catherine Tauveron), transvaluation (Genette), transgenericity (Adam-Heidmann), transtextuality, etc., with all the nuances and all the possible degrees in the transformations operated on the source text, or the source-image, whether they are first, second or nth. So many concepts that deserve to be sorted and evaluated according to their relevance and above all their operational capacity, in other words their analytical efficiency.

From the tale, all kinds of manipulations and derivations are possible because, on the one hand, the traditional tale is a virtual text, relatively unstable and precarious, composed of all its variants, so that variation is an element constitutive, on the other hand the tale is itself partly composed of stereotyped motifs, sorts of discursive sediments whose property is recursion and above all transtextual, transfictional, transgender and even trans-semiotic migration. Snow White is a typical example of this since Blanchefleur, Perceval’s friend in Le Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes (1181) which has also given rise to numerous revivals, where the striking anthropological motif of “drops of blood” also appears. The tale of Snow White thus conveys a long procession of topoï which turns into a circle of migratory motifs, whether the latter are simple stereotypes, or mythical motifs, or anthropological motifs, or archetypal motifs actualizing one or more several themes depending on the contexts and contexts.

The modern hypotext of Snow White is undoubtedly the eponymous tale by the Brothers Grimm (Schneewittchen), KHM 53 published in the first edition of the Tales in 1812, as well as in La petite édition in 1825 (n°27), the result of an amalgamation of many versions and revisions of the texts according to the discoveries. One of the hypotexts mentioned by the Grimms is the tale Richilda by Johann Karl August Musäus published in 1782. The rival of the Brothers Grimm, the pedagogue Albert Ludwig Grimm (no family relation) had already in 1809 published a rewriting of Snow White, as well as of Cinderella and Hänsel and Gretel in her Kindermärchen. Prior to the Grimm version, we find elements of the tale in Basile, in “The Raven” and “The Three Citrons”.[2] basically ; at Straparola for the adventures of Blanchebelle, at Shakespeare for the plot of his play Cymbeline.

Tradition is not to be outdone, but in France ethno-tales have been influenced by the Grimms so that of the ten versions of CT 709 recorded by Georges Delarue and Marie-Louise Tenèze in Conte Populaire Français II, only five are intact; Josiane Bru adds seven in her supplement to the French Catalog. But the country that is particularly fond of Snow White is Greece, of which Anna Angelopoulou and Aegli Brouskou in their Catalog list 132 versions.[3] and offer two complete versions. The tale is also widespread in Africa: Geneviève Calame-Griaule gives a version of it in Tender tales, cruel tales from the Nigerien Sahel which she entitled “Cinderella in the sun”.[4].

Literary rewrites are numerous, such as those of: Angela Carter, Anne Sexton, Jesus del Campo, Chantal Robillard, Pierre Gripari, Jeanne Cordelier, Philippe Beck, Marissa Meyer, Sonia Alain, etc. For the theatre, let us mention among others those of: Robert Walser, Claudine Galea, Howard Baker, Elfriede Jelinek, Claude Liénard, Guillaume Pascal. The albums are countless, we can only name a few more original: Angela Barrett, Benjamin Lacombe, Alexandra Jardin, Solotareff, Marie Hautmont, Dumas and Moissard, Herbert Leupin, Claire Degans, Francesca Rossi, Françoise Rogier. Comics are less rich with Picha, Yvan Pommaux, Émile Bravo, and a few mangas. Note also the ballet by Angelin Preljocaj. The most talented illustrators were particularly inspired by Snow White: Walter Crane, Franz Albert Jüttner, John D. Batten, Lothar Meggendorfer, Jennie Harbour, Edouardo Arroyo, Eric Battut, Gustaf Tengreen, Charles Robinson, Maurice Sendaket and many others Again.

The cinema is not to be outdone, since in July 1902 Siegmund Lubin adapts Snow White (USA). Others will follow until the point of no return which is the animated film of the Disney studios released in 1937 whose director is David Hand, all the more striking as it is the first animated film in the world which is soundtrack and in color (technicolor), the soundtrack of which will be the first to be marketed in 1938, with two great successes emblematic of the film-story that cannot be denied: One day my prince will come and Heigh-Ho.

The question is to know how hypertexts and hypericons reconfigure the narrative and the characters, what are the values ​​signified as well as the semantic transformations and innovations carried out by the author. Maurice Bouchor, in his preface to Popular Tales transcribed and rimed according to the French tradition[5] specifies what the transformations he operates on the texts consist of: “There is nothing popular about all this, I admit; it’s art more thoughtful than instinctive […] I must create the conditions of verisimilitude which are a need of my mind, even in the most fantastic subject, and I think that by doing so I will better respond to the expectations of my listeners, of whom the less cultured are far from being as naive as their fathers”[6]. In other words, he grants himself pre-eminence over the first text in order, he thinks, on the one hand to respond to the demand for reception and to his own representations of the work, with the ultimate limits ultimately being recognition. of the belonging of the hypertext to the cycle of the starting tale: his “History of the Bonhomme Misère” still belongs to type 330.

The topics covered will be very varied. It will be possible to deal with enunciation: the interplay of enunciative and narrative instances, variations of focal lengths and changes of point of view. As well as dealing with inter or transtextuality through defector fictions, rewritings in another genre (cinema, theatre, poetry, comic strip, novel, graphic novel, albums with or without text, etc.). Also deal with modalisation through humor or irony. On the evolution of moralizing narration, the modernization of authoritative texts and the choices of revival today. On the side of reception, of the game of intertextual readings and the solicitation of readers, of literary finality.

Communication proposals must be innovative, original and original.

steering Committee

Bochra CHARNAY, ULR 1061 ALITHILA, University of Lille
Thierry CHARNAY, ULR 1061 ALITHILA, University of Lille

Scientific committee

Sandra BECKETT, Brock University, Saint Catharines, Canada
Bochra CHARNAY, ULR 1061 ALITHILA, University of Lille
Thierry CHARNAY, ULR 1061 ALITHILA, University of Lille
Kirill CHEKALOV, Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Christiane CONNAN-PINTADO, TELEM, Bordeaux-Montaigne University
Dominique PEYRACHE-LEBORGNE, EA 4276, University of Nantes
Natacha RIMASSON-FERTIN, ILCEA4, Grenoble-Alpes University
Marie-Agnès THIRARD, ULR 1061 ALITHILA, University of Lille

Terms and schedule

The communication proposals (title, summary of 1500 characters maximum (spaces included), key words, and bibliographical references will be accompanied by a brief biobibliography of 1500 characters (spaces included) maximum including: status, institution and host team as well as major recent publications.

Proposals should be sent no later than February 10, 2023 to the following address :

A response will be sent to contributors no later than February 17, 2023.

[1] Georges Dumézil, From myth to novel, Quadrige/Presses Universitaires de France, 1983 [1970], p. 188.
[2] It is not about “Nennillo and Nennella” as Natacha Rimasson-Fertin mistakenly announces (t. 1, p; 305).
[3] Anna Angelopoulou and Aegli Brouskou, Catalog raisonné of the Greek tale, t. 2, Maisonneuve and Larose, 1996.
[4] Geneviève Calame-Griaule, Tender tales, cruel tales from the Nigerien Sahel, Gallimard “The language of tales”, 2002, p. 145-150 and notes p. 151-154.
[5] Maurice Bouchor, Popular tales transcribed and rhymed according to the French tradition, Paris, Ch Delagrave, 1904.
[6] Ibid., p. 15.

The hypertextual and hypericonic expansions of the tale Snow White (Lille)