Search This Blog
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Once upon a time...
500 New Fairytales Discovered in Germany
I think this is awesome. The story linked from the article (The Turnip Princess) doesn't completely make sense (I wonder if part of the narrative is missing?), but I'll definitely want to check these out when the translations are released. Honestly, this is the first time I've wished I'd learned to read German. This article says there is some overlap with more familiar collections, but also some that are not collected in other places. Exciting!
This reminds me that I've been wanting to reread some of the fairy tales I already know, and to read more of the ones I don't. Also? It's been way too long since I went full nerd on a new (to me) mythology. Any recommendations? A lot of us go through a good bit of the Greco/Roman stories, but what other mythology have you read that you'd suggest? And, if you're a fairy tale reader, what's your favorite? I honestly don't know what my favorite traditional fairy tale is -- that's why I want to reread them. It occured to me when Disney's Beauty and the Beast was rereleased that I couldn't actually remember the source material. My favorite fairy tales are actually adaptations of fairy tales: 1) things based on Beauty and the Beast and 2) Sondheim's Into the Woods. For the former, Cocteau's 1946 La Belle et la Bête left a lasting impression (I think Beast's human face at the end is a nice touch); Disney's Beauty and the Beast (which, in my opinion, gets Beast's human form TOTALLY WRONG) is, hands down, my favorite Disney movie; and my beloved Gargoyles (also, surprisingly, Disney) is, at the very least, Beauty and the Beast adjacent, even going so far as to put Elisa Maza in Belle's dress for part of an episode. Yeah, it was corny. And by corny, I mean awesome.
Into the Woods mashes up and fractures Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella (and features amusing cameos by a couple of other recognizable fairy tales). I wonder how long it wil be before people start to fracture these new fairy tales.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Lately I've really enjoyed Norse mythology via A.S. Byatt's new book Ragnarok, and the annotated collected works of Hans Christian Andersen, and The Fairy Tale Book of Osamu Dazai (A really under-appreciated (at least here in America) Japanese writer from the 1930s.ReplyDelete
I was excited to hear about these new fairy tales too!
Thanks for the recommendations, Jeannine! Ragnarok looks amazing -- I'll have to put it on my list.Delete
I once, randomly, had dinner with Susan Egan, who originated the role of Belle in the B'way version of BatB. She told a hilarious story about a night when the trapdoor which the Beast normally used in the climax to go beneath the stage and change costume into "human" form failed to work. Improvisingly madly, she spread her cloak and kneeled in front of him so that he could take off his Beast mask w/o the audience seeing. Neither of them could understand the giggles that resulted in the audience - until they later saw pictures and realized that, from the pov of the audience, it had looked like Beauty was giving the Beast a blow job to restore him to health.ReplyDelete
Anise, that is hilarious, and HOW DID YOU "RANDOMLY" HAVE DINNER WITH BELLE?! I saw that production in 1994, when Egan and Mann were still in it (yay, dorm trips!). Not surprisingly, I loved it -- sucker for the story, Egan and Mann were both fantastic, and Mann actually broke scene (though not character) to yell at someone I knew for taking a picture with a flash ("DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!" he Beast yelled in Beast-voice). I remember really liking what they did for the transformation, though all I remember now is smoke and sparkly lights. I'm pretty sure there were no accidental suggestions of fellatio (how embarrassing!) on the night I was there. I'd have risked the wrath of the Beast to get a shot of that :)Delete
One of my old family friends works (worked, now he's in Vegas) on the managerial side on B'way. He came down to see a show at the Yale Rep that Egan was in, and invited me out to dinner...along with her. It was a marvelous evening - she's awesome, and beautiful. But yes, it was very random.Delete
Tread carefully with the original fairy tales or you'll be scarred for life! Fractured fairytales are among my favorite things. I fell in love with the (sub)genre when my high school English teacher had me read "Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast" by Robin McKinley. Another good one is Orson Scott Card's "Enchantment" (a retelling of Sleeping Beauty). I also really like some reinterpretations of more modern fairytales (ahem, Wicked et al, though, I have specific annoyances with Gregory Maguire's storytelling, especially when he fractures older fairytales).ReplyDelete
Yeah, old-school fairy tales are no joke -- I remember, vividly, being traumatized when I read the version of Cinderella where the sisters cut off pieces of their feet to try to fit the shoe at the end!Delete
Speaking of trauma, haven't read anything by Maguire, except Wicked. I liked that one, but also found it kind of sadistic, perhaps too much so. I haven't read McKinley's book either, but it's on my list. Thanks for the recommendations!