1) Catherynne M. Valente Speaks on Fairy Tales at NY ComicCon
Once Upon a Blog directed our attention to the wisdom of one of my favorite authors, Catherynne M. Valente who wrote The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Lead the Revels There. At NY ComicCon this year, Ms. Valente said:
"Here's the thing about fairy tales... They are the best-edited stories of all time... boiled down, espresso-like stories that go straight to the back of your reptile brain."
I love that idea. They are like sea stones, rolled around in the surf of hundreds or thousands of years to be stripped down to the essentials, the truths span all of time.
2) Post Victorian Little Red Riding Hood
Tales of Faerie, as ever an pillar of fairy tale scholarship, distills Jack Zipes' The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood into a blog post exploration of what Red Riding Hood symbolizes in the modern age. She discusses how it is used to underline political, ecological, and gender equality issues, as well as more traditional interpretations.
The YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) had an excellent blog post about how Cinderella is a story about bullies. The special thing about Cinderella in comparison with other bully stories is that it doesn't dwell on the bullies. The bullies are an obstacle that Cinderella must face as she takes her destiny in to her own hands.
"The stories I like—whether on my library shelves or playing out in my own neighborhood—are the ones where our teens don’t relinquish their pens to the bullies. They get help, stop it, or endure despite the high cost. But they go on writing their own story, singing their own song, toward a happily ever after that stands separate and apart from the attacks against them."
The gloriously irreverent Io9 has created yet another hilarious list, the biggest assholes in Greek mythology, and Zeus is at the top of the list. The first half of the list sticks with the known assholes, but then we get into more obscure people, like Ixion, who pushed his father-in-law onto a bed of hot coals, went insane, tried to have sex with Hera, and ended up having sex with a cloud.
Io9, snarky as ever, lists the many..not so much errors, but differences between the Marvel Asgard and the old Norse Asgard. It makes me want to sit by the fire on a winter night and read some eddas. I do miss the clever, tricky wanderer Odin and the mischievous Loki and the doofus Thor and my favorite nightmare creature, Fenrir.
Apparently Christmas = Fairy Tales at Marks and Spencers! Here is a cute ad for their store that leads you through Alice in Wonderland, Little Red, the Wizard of Oz (with a female Tin Man and Lion), Hansel and Gretel and Arabian Nights. With a special cameo from Helena Bonham Carter! Once Upon a Blog has background and commentary.
That is all for now, though I have a lot more coming up!