A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Monday, September 29, 2014

Faerie Tales

Himself found a new show to binge watch on Netflix over the weekend. He started on Thursday and watched it clear through until Sunday night. The name of the show? Once Upon a Time. He suggested I watch it, and I will. I just wasn't ready to watch it with him, though I've caught enough of random episodes to know I want to know the whole story instead of the snippets of information. The characters look awesome. I especially love what they've done with Rumpelstiltskin. Of course the fact that it's the same actor who played Dr. Rush on SG-U doesn't hurt. I was rather impressed by him in that role and he makes an excellent Rumpelstiltskin. (And yes, I did have to look up how to spell that name. *grin*)

What watching it made me think of is faerie tales and fables, and how many translations of old ones and retellings that create new ones are in this world. I've set myself the task of writing retellings of some of my favorite faerie tales. The only one I've gotten anywhere close to being finished is my retelling of Beauty and the Beast. But I have some vague ideas for the other ones. I especially want to do one for Allerleirauh (sometimes translated as All-Kinds-Of-Fur or Thousand Furs). It's a more obscure story and people don't always recognize it. But it's always been one of my favorites.

I love reading variations on faerie tales. I've read so many. Another one of my favorites is Yeh Shen, the Chinese version of Cinderella. It's a beautiful story. There's also one dealing with Egypt. And I'm sure many more. These stories are old and have been told many times. I love reading them, because they give us a glimpse into the minds of people of the past.

For many cultures, there was no written word. Stories were passed down orally from one generation to the next. These stories were told by the fire, or in response to some kind of event. Some stories were even kept secret until great ceremonies where the storyteller was called forth to tell them. As time went by and the written word became more popular, people like Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm went around and collected them. They put them into a book. If you read the original Brothers Grimm versions, you'll find that the stories are very different from the ones we have today, the ones who have been cleaned up and made happier.

My mom had a huge book of faerie tales from all around the world, and I must have read that thing a hundred times as a child and a teenager. It's one of the reasons I know about Allerleirauh. It was in there. I found out about Yeh Shen by watching an interesting cartoon produced by CBS as part of a special cartoon series they did on Saturdays. I no longer remember the name. I just know each week they took a faerie tale or a fable and turned it into a well managed movie. If you remember that series, feel free to tell me. I'd like to know if anyone can remember what it was called.

Faerie tales are a big part of why I decided to become an author. I wanted to tell stories that lasted for years and that people could pick up in a century and read them again with the wonder that a child brings to reading faerie tales now.

So what's your favorite faerie tale? Where's it from?

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