by Casey Neal
USF offers it's First MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in Fairy Tales
At last, you don't need a bagillion dollars to take a college course in fairy tales! The course is called "Fairy Tales: Origins and Evolution of Princess Stories" will be taught by professor Kevin Yee. Unfortunately, it already began, and we all missed it, but hopefully it bodes well for things to come. You can follow some of the work on Once Upon a Blog. InkGypsy took the course and is providing summaries and thoughts on each of the weeks! Here is her summery of Week 1 - Cinderella (Part 1) which has some really beautiful and insightful reflections from her classmates. Part 2 examine's Disney's Cinderella and it's contribution to the genre. Look for more soon!
Once Upon a Blog discovered that, apparently, Cocteau meant for the transformation of the Beast into the prince to be disappointing in his highly influential La Belle et La Bete. He stated in an essay, "My aim would be to make the Beast so human, so sympathetic, so superior to men, that his transformation into Prince Charming would come as a terrible blow to Beauty, condemning her to a humdrum marriage and a future that I summed up in that last sentence of all fairy tales: ‘And they had many children.’” This is emphasized by the fact that the same actor played the transformed beast and the unwanted suitor at the beginning of the film.
Glen Keane, supervising animator for Disney's Beauty and the Beast, who referred to Cocteau's film for inspiration, agreed. "I never referred to him as anything but Beast,’ he answered. ‘To me he’s always been Beast. I always just believed that Belle called him Beast from the moment that he transformed… so whatever his name was before is not important because he was called Beast after that.’ Keane also went on to add, ‘matter of fact, when he changed into the prince, I knew everybody was going to be disappointed by that, because they fall in love with the beast’"
by Ian Beck
Once Upon a Blog, yet again, great scholar that she is, has researched the history of Snow White's cruel ending, where the evil stepmother is forced to dance in red hot shoes. Check out the link to see the historical torture device that may have inspired her fate. (I always think of this fantastic monologue when I read about the red hot shoes.)
This year's American Folklore Society Conference is focusing on Fairy Tales! It is in Rhode Island from Oct 16-19th if you want to go. Really interesting topics. Click the link to find out more on SurLaLune.
There are also two really exciting initiatives by my fellow fairy tale bloggers. First, Diamonds and Toads has launched Timeless Tales magazine! Each issue focuses on retelling of a specific fairy tale. She also includes a recording of the tale so you can listen to it.