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Ambiguous (by) nature: writing Baba Yaga and the Tasmanian Devil


Wood, D, Ambiguous (by) nature: writing Baba Yaga and the Tasmanian Devil, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment pp. 1-12. ISSN 1076-0962 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1093/isle/isz068


In order to provide some context for the following excerpt from my novel-in-progress, "The House on Legs," let me first share some thoughts about the reasons one might choose to reinvent Baba Yaga, the witch-crone of Russian and Slavic folk tales, as a wildlife warrior in Australia’s island state of Tasmania. Generally, it is accepted that Baba Yaga’s signature trait is her profound ambiguity. Straddling such binaries as good/evil, natural/supernatural, human/nonhuman, she is a character famous for her unpredictability. Should a heroine or hero approach her house on legs, she may help them in their quest. Or, she may attempt to eat them up. Contradiction is a key component of her reputation, and the same can be said of Tasmania, Australia’s island state, and also of that island’s wildlife icon, the Tasmanian devil.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Fairy Tales, Baba Yaga, Tasmanian devil, Tasmanian literature, Creative Writing
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Wood, D (Dr Danielle Wood)
ID Code:134734
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-08-30
Last Modified:2019-10-14

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