Wednesday, February 9, 2011



Walking through a forest in Germany, thick leaves scrunching underfoot, I half expected to see a wolf, some woodcutters and Little Riding Hood. I kept peering through the trees oh so expectantly. 
The sign and small stone bench seemed hopeful. Surely a sign so LRRH didn't lose her way, and a bench for her to rest her weary feet, and place that heavy basket full of yummy morsels for Granny.

Logically I knew it wasn't possible, but it was so atmospheric, logic began to lose its grip.


A gingerbread cottage was  more probable. 

Not quite gingerbread, but the next best thing.

I could just imagine someone inside with a spinning wheel, or long golden hair named Rapunzel.

Or maybe even three bears

Or the Pied Piper of Hamelin

Beauty and the Beast


I'd expected to be studiously involved in the history of wonderful musicians, artists and writers. Being swept up in rather brutal fairy tales from my childhood took me completely by surprise.

It was an unexpected joy.

(I've just realised that sound a bit weird, but I was brought up with the unDisneyfied fairy tales, and they are gruesome. That's just how it was. The sanitised ones seem a bit wishwashy and namby pamby to me, a bit like having triffle without the brandy, or gin and tonic without the gin. It's like something important is missing. I wonder if Jung has anything to say about fairy tales, archetypes...wanders off to see what can be found.)


jkdavies said...

I know exactly what you mean re fairytales - after reading Andrew Lang's anthologies I graduated to Angela Carter's darker interpretations...
probably what inspired the work at the link below

sue said...

jkd, thankyou, I've had a dip and look forward to a proper read. I read a book once that discussed the importance of the darkness, and gave a lot of explanation - I can't remember its title. Have you come across something like that?

Cruella Collett said...

I'm curious to hear what you found; I'm sure fairy tales will have been analyzed by psychiatrists as well as anthropologists and folklorists. I've had encounters with the latter, and fairy tales have many interesting "society-building" raisons d'être.

And I agree - what a house!

sue said...

Cruella, I had a wonderful book with indepth discussion which I'd hoped to find and re-read, but it seems to have disappeared. "The Classic Fairy Tales" by Iona and Peter Opie is good, but not the one I was after. I need more time to delve again.