Monday, January 22, 2007

hadas / faeries

lately i´ve been thinking that it can be said that there are two types of people in this world, those who appreciate fairytales (cuentos de hadas) and those who don´t. i find it fascinating the responses elicited in those who don´t like fairytales, or call them ridiculous, or say stories are far-fetched, or even escapist. and i ask myself "what´s so wrong with make-believe that it needs to be denounced in such a fashion?" for thát is how i would characterise some of the responses i´ve heard. well, for one, i have seen the movie "the Holiday" twice, and base much of my opinion on that. i´ve heard many an animated discussion, with people either liking the movie or not liking it (both vehemently). for me, cinema has always been a form of escape, which inherently sounds negative but isn´t meant to. i like being engrossed in the story on the screen. but this post is not so much about an appreciation of/for cinema as it is an opinion about the appreciation of/for fairytales, even when (let´s say "in spite of being") "grown up". I think people who can´t appreciate good storytelling just take themselves and the world far too seriously (says she who can be súper-serious sometimes).

then the other day i´d bought a new old tori amos cd, and one of the songs goes:
We may fall then stumble
Upon a carousel
It could take us anywhere

that´s when i posted some pics of a carousel on flickr (i´d removed all other pics some days before, motivated by the idea of "a new year, needs new pics"...) subsequently, when i´d enthused about the tori amos lyrics, the imagery she conjures up, and her general playfulness with language, a friend mentioned that her imagery was so fairy-like, and so wasn´t sure if that appealed.

what bothers me really, and the reason for this posting, is this sense that there is a fear in folks. yes, a fear of fairytales. you´ll say "she´s gone cuckoo". my question is why must people be so resistant to considering the possibility of what make-believe can conjure up? and you see it in all spheres of life, not just in whether people like/dislike actual fairytales.


Oh, while pondering the above, there appeared an interview in a college newsletter, with Dr Diane Purkiss, Fellow and Tutor in English:

Q: Are supernatural figures, such as fairies, still relevant in today´s society?
A: Fairies have become a symbol of cute disbelief: people may want to believe in them, but they are not credible. This has a lot to do with their portrayal in the works of Shakespeare.

Fairies have died as an active belief, but have been replaced by aliens who come from a largely undiscovered universe but perform the same function as supernatural figures, abducting us and impregnating us. A reason for this change is that the world has largely been discovered and mapped, mysterious beings such as fairies need to come from the unknown.

Okay, interesting opinion. I don´t agree that aliens have replaced fairies, but well... Also, fairies and fairytales exist in other cultures, where Shakespearean portrayals would be irrelevant. So, maybe the Purkiss´ assertion could hold for English-speakers, but not necessarily anywhere else. But, see the entire interview, why don´t you, which dealt with her start at the uni, women at oxf, and the childrens´ books she writes with her son and daughter.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home