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Showing posts from November, 2012

Raising Rapunzel: The Trouble With Fairy Tale Parents, By Lissa Sloan

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It’s tough to be a fairy tale character.Not only do our heroes and heroines have to contend with witches, trolls, dragons, and sometimes even the devil himself, but there’s another menace—parents.Fairy tales are riddled with examples of abysmal parenting. Obviously there’s the jealous, even murderous, (step) mother, but there are plenty of others.There’s the self-important braggart.(“My daughter can spin straw into gold.”He knew she couldn’t—what was he thinking?)There’s the thoughtless gambler, who, when promising to give his rescuer the first thing to meet him on his return home, thinks it will be his faithful dog, not his faithful daughter.And the less said about Allerleirauh’s lecherous father, who wanted to marry her after her mother died, the better.
Fairy tales are full of parenting mistakes to avoid.For example, take poor Rapunzel.She has three unfit parents to contend with.Her father is of the typical meek variety, ruled by his unreasonable wife, who wants him to steal from th…

A Queen's Discontent, By Marcia Sherman

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Editor's note: This is a thorough mashup that had me identifying villainesses and other characters the whole time I read it. It also digs into that stepmother business rather effectively. As for the picture, well, there's no Lancelot in Marcia's poem, but I think the picture captures the mood of it rather nicely.

I will let you in on a secret. Of course none of us have actually died. That is all just written for dramatic effect. It seems so much more - Interesting, Heartwarming, Difficult, To have a father raise a daughter. Alone. But we are all here. All the mothers. In the background, Or on another estate. Or in another, smaller, castle. We all keep in touch. And we meet at least once a year. Queen and commoner alike. Even that doe, The one everybody thinks was shot. And that clownfish. In a bowl of course. Those of us who live close enough, Visit with one another quite often. And we have more to do with the stories than anyone realizes. Take for example that silly girl…

The Abstract and the Concrete in Fairy Tales, By L.C. Ricardo

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In academic circles, the Jungian theory of a universal unconsciousness is no longer in vogue. But human experience—moods and rituals, rites of passage, a curiosity for the unknown—is just that, characteristic of humanity. As such, it will continue to affect our lives, whether we are discussing it in academia or not.

Birth, death, love, fear, forgiveness, acceptance . . . these general abstractions are perhaps alone ineffective in capturing our scholarly interest, let alone the imagination. But infuse them into a fairy tale, and we have a living, breathing story indeed. The fairy tale provides concrete objects to embody life’s mercies, cruelties, and miracles.

That is not to say that fairy tales are mere allegory. Perhaps this one-sided interpretation carries some blame for people’s frustration in“telling the same story over and over again.” If a tower is always a phallic symbol and the maiden either imprisoned or protected from the masculine, we rob the tower of its first childho…

Bride Gift, By Shannon Connor Winward

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 Editor's note: Shannon's poem intrigued me and that's what made it one of the October winners. Is it based on "The Princess and the Pea"? I think so. The description is certainly enticing. Tithe every household a wagon of chaff and a goose bring me a ship of the finest linen call up an army of seamstresses, weavers and carters woodsmen to fell the forest. My Liege, employ the kingdom. Bid them make the scaffolds mighty (and sturdy) let it rival the tallest castle spire build me a tower layer by layer straw, ticking, down and silk. Send your armada to escort me across the ocean raise me up in a litter of gold borne on the backs of champions lay me down under a canopy of stars and promise me Heaven. I will give you my hand my fidelity, benediction coronation in the circle of my arms I will give you my body sovereignty in my hills and valleys my flesh, my womb I will give you sons and daughters you will never be forgotten nor forsaken. I will give you solace at day’s end I will soothe your weary…