“Taken by the fairies” An examination of contemporary fairy commodification and culture in Newfoundland

Fleming, Kathleen (2021) “Taken by the fairies” An examination of contemporary fairy commodification and culture in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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On the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, fairies are no longer feared and avoided (Reiti, 1991; Narvaez, 1991), but are something people have commodified and are marketing and selling. This thesis includes some of these examples: Tina White’s guided tours the Fairy Door Tours and Fairy Lore Walkabout, the Faerie Garden and Fairy Nights at the Cupids Legacy Centre, described by Claudine Garland and Peter Laracy, and the written representation by local writers Dennis Flynn and Dale Jarvis, and local publisher Marnie Parsons who owns and operates the Running the Goat: Books and Broadsides publishing company in Tors Cove. Applying the theoretical concepts of play (Masters, 2008; Eicher-Catt, 2016; Lambrow, 2020), assemblage (Santino, 1986), enchantment/re-enchantment (Magliocco, 2018; Saler, 2003, 2004), and escapism (Heilman, 1975; Young, 1976; Usherwood and Toyne, 2002), to the theoretical framework of commodification, I show how locals are adapting “our” fairy traditions and using the interest sparked by the popular culture representation of fairies to teach audiences about different aspects of Newfoundland culture, such as storytelling traditions, as well as Newfoundland values, like respect for nature and for other people. I also show how the visual representation of fairies has been more sanitized than the written form. Finally, I show how locals, both proprietors and consumers, are using these examples to create and foster a sense of local identity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15393
Item ID: 15393
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 113-117).
Keywords: fairies, commodification play theory, identity, re-enchantment
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: October 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/2WRW-4G08
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fairies--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula; Commodification--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula; Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula; Storytelling--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula; Oral tradition--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula.

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