Date published: July 1, 2011
Little in the field of fairy-tale studies is totally new One genuinely innovative event, however, was without question Jacques Barchilon's founding of Merveilles et contes in 1987. To be sure, Barchilón had been inspired by Fabula: Zeitschrift für Erzählforschung/Journal of Folktale Süidies/Revue d'études sur le conte populaire, which had first appeared thirty years earlier. But Jacques Barchilon's new journal - which was titled Merveilles & contes/Marvels & Tales/Wunder & Marchen/Maravilla & cuentos/Meraviglie & racconti and challenged many a cataloger and bibliographer - reflected not only the vivid personality and creativity of its founder but also the exploding field of fairy-tale studies itself, which was simultaneously thriving and struggling to define its scope and place. The journal quickly struck out in its own direction and, fueled by Barchilon's editorial vision, began publishing not only conventional scholarly articles and reviews but also primary texts, stories, and illustrations. From the first, every issue was a surprise. By the second volume, published in 1988, the editorial board of this "homemade" journal - issued from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and reproduced by Kinko's - included not only distinguished scholars but also the extraordinary writer Angela Carter. What a coup for Merveilles & contes to have won the attention and cooperation of Carter, and what a perfect illustration of its special nature! As the journal's reputation and multidisciplinary following grew, Barchilon's vision of creating ajournai "to promote the scholarly study of folk and fairy tales in a broad interdisciplinary spirit" was fulfilled (Merveilles & contes 1.1 : 1). There is every reason to think that Marvels & Tales will continue to live and to thrive happily ever after.
We have told this tale before - on the twentieth anniversary of the journal in 2006 - but a good story always bears repeating. Now, in 2011, it has been a quarter century since the founding of Marvels & Tales, a perfect occasion to recognize and thank our founding editor by publishing this special issue in his honor. Had Marvels & Tales been Jacques's only contribution to fairy-tale studies, that would be reason enough to celebrate the man and his work. As it is, his contributions extend far beyond that, so with this issue we honor Jacques for his extraordinary career and, as you will find in Anne Duggan's interview with him, his extraordinary life. We are grateful to the scholars who contributed to this issue and who, because of space limitations, represent the many other colleagues who would have honored Jacques with their own contributions. As the editors who were given the honor and privilege of carrying on the project that was born in Boulder in 1987, we take special delight in dedicating this special issue of Marvels & Tales to its founding editor, our marvelous colleague, friend, and mentor, Jacques Barchilón.