Author Topic: Literary, cultural, fairytale, feminist ramblings (and other clever stuff too)  (Read 17279 times)

lykopis

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But do you think we might have a sticky thread in CMD for literary/cultural/fairytale/feminist ramblings like these (and that rather fabulous thread from last year about women and words and things) ? I'd love if all of that was in the same place, to be added to in a burst from time to time.


Let's.

Your wish and all that  :D

Bizoute

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valerie

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"nothing brings back the hour
 of splendor in the grass
 and glory of the flower"
             WW

Offline Charlotte Mew

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I hope we can make the thread take off, and I would like it to remain as a fixture.  I think it would grace CMD and be useful for some of those not planning to either weigh themselves or get married in the near future.

Fairytales - hmmm Bizoute, are there other fairytale heroines who are immobilised like Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty, I wonder?   Gerda in the Snow Queen seems to be one of the most active heroines in well known tales, and this story has a 'good' raven too.

Bizoute

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well, i think there are different slightly less overt versions of immobilisation among fairytale heroines, aren't there? that was kind of the idea i took from the twelve dancing shoes story. i assume that theme of locked up sexuality (that's my reading of it...) is a common one, and there's a lot of variants on the theme. that's kind of why i find the comparison with dolls interesting - because i think there is a crossover there - different versions of immobilisation. and that's something common to misogynistic society, isn't it? it just takes different forms. 

on a more general theme, i like the story of the enchanted stag. made me think of circe. why were so many women of greek myth so utterly fabulous?

i need to refamiliarise myself with the snow queen. i loved it, and i've forgotten it.

Offline ScarletBea

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Fiction about fairytales: The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt.
Fab, and I love all her books :D

PQ

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Well, I just like fur, generally. I don't much mind where it is.

Mmm, yes. I like those mediaeval illustrations (on tapestries, I think; or church windows?) of wild women with blue (I think) hair all over, except on their breasts. And faces, possibly. I always wanted to meet one of those.

I still do.

ETA:



I never even saw these. Or if I did, it didn't click it was fur. I probably thought it was clothing. How very weird. Blue fur.


^ It's one of the things I learnt from reading Marina Warner on fairy tales. :D

And, yes. Blue fur. Rarrrr.



ETA: Freud would make much of exactly where the unicorn's head is placed, and how theyre both furry, she and it, & how its head & horn kind of could be a prolongation of her body...

(Or maybe thats not so much Freud but me. I do have a thing about hybrids and people who are converging on the line that divides one kind of thing from another.)

(I shall now lay off the wine. Or GB. Or both. God knows what Sparkles is going to call me next.)



Yes, boundaries between things are always interesting. Because really, they often don't exist, but are arbitrarily imposed. They are just a way of making sense of the world. The human/non-human divide particularly fascinates me.

Although, obviously, the blue furry woman and the unicorn do seem to be separate and distinct beings.

me too! i've had this idea in mind for a while of a series of poems about swan/women hybrids.

i'm also interested as women-as-dolls in a feminist rather angry sorta way. (i'm trying to find a fairytale angle to it that'd work for more than just one story.)

...and a very cool, very original, distinctly subversive poet i like did a women as cakes series. (they were horrific.)

hybrid ftw! i think things get more interesting when they blur.


i'm also interested as women-as-dolls in a feminist rather angry sorta way. (i'm trying to find a fairytale angle to it that'd work for more than just one story.)


What about Coppelia?  any mileage in reworking this in a feminist angry way?   Then of course the Sleeping Beauty could be a doll - frozen into non demanding immobility and waiting patiently to be awakened by a kiss from the Prince once he has hacked through the pubic hair thorns.    Snow White could turn into a doll once she has eaten the poisoned apple - woman in coma = woman as doll, a thing of beauty to be admired through glass (or the plastic cover of the doll collector's box). 

Tangent: I have a small collection of dolls of people said to be lesbians or characters I like to think of as lesbians or who are lesbian icons.  So far it only has Marie Antoinette, Florence Nightingale, Storm from the X-men, Ripley from Alien and the Rosie O'Donnell (US chat show host) Barbie.  This doll is  a marvellous fatter than usual Barbie and sold well but once the real Rosie O'Donnell came out as a lesbian, sales dropped off immediately.    Once I heard this I had to get a Rosie doll immediately and e-bay obliged.   I keep meaning to get the Sappho Finger Puppet from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild. I am also looking for the Australian anti-Barbie, Feral Cheryl though production of these is currently suspended and waiting for re-launch.

you can see why I am a hoarder.  /tangent

Hm, I'm actually interested in reading Hoffman's Sandman - the original basis for Coppelia. I do want to fully acquaint myself with Freud's theory of the uncanny because it links to that subtle distortion of dolls as inanimate echo of humanity I guess. 

Actually what interested me rereading the story of the twelve dancing princesses was that of course they're locked into their bedroom each night. And even aside from all the obvious allusions within that to chastity and attitudes to femininity and women and so on, it's just a noxious detail. But them being put to bed and locked in each night struck me as quite Russian doll like somehow.  

It's fairytales turned slightly on their head I'm interested in.

And yes, exactly for the ones you have mentioned - Snow White and Sleeping Beauty just do end up doll-like and immobile, don't they? But of course it's the demonised evil queens who are more fascinating than the princes in those stories, so I'd like to explore the relationship between the female leads and those, maybe dispense with some of their passivity to the storyline.

About hijacking the thread with fairy tales and dolls I _did_ mention that the Prince in Sleeping Beauty has to hack his way through thorns/pubic hair. :D. And to return to nos moutons via the doll theme. I do have an elegant 1920s-style fabric fashion doll (they used to be called 'boudoir dolls' and were made for grown women). This one I made myself about 37 years go, and she has embroidered dark brown pubic hair. Two little girls I knew used to come round to play with my dolls - I think it may have been to admire her pubic hair when changing her clothes. She was so much better than Barbie and had proper nips too.  It's a  pity if teenage girls no longer get to celebrate their new pubic hair and, guided by friends and girls' mags, think oh oh I better shave or wax that off pronto.  Personally I found the glimpse of a dark triangle in the changing rooms a most lyrical and inspiring sight in my youth.  

valerie

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I think we need some talented writers to create some new fairy tales with the heroines as strong unencumbered figures

Offline Charlotte Mew

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^ some with evocative hastily seen furry triangles perhaps? 

valerie

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^ some with evocative hastily seen furry triangles perhaps?
without a doubt  furry,fairy tales

PQ

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I think 'Mr Tiger's (Tyger's?) Bride', Angela Carter, is possibly the perfect furry tale. Altho no triangles.

I think it would be well worth reading the original Grimms' tales, there must be over a hundred, & only a few have made the mainstream. (Not that Beauty & the Beast is one of those. It's Perrault, I think?) There's probably several well worth rewriting. ALtho of course of nobody knows the original, that might not work so well.


Offline smiling

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I hope we can make the thread take off, and I would like it to remain as a fixture.  I think it would grace CMD and be useful for some of those not planning to either weigh themselves or get married in the near future.

Fairytales - hmmm Bizoute, are there other fairytale heroines who are immobilised like Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty, I wonder?   Gerda in the Snow Queen seems to be one of the most active heroines in well known tales, and this story has a 'good' raven too.

that was my mum's absolute FAVOURITE when she was little - not least because she is called gerda herself :)
..auch die Ruhe nach dem Sturm
is nur die Ruhe vor dem Sturm.
(Georg Danzer)

Offline merce

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this exhibition (enchanted palace) at Kensington palace has some marvellous ramblings with fairytales - especially the dancing princesses
http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/Palacehighlights/EnchantedPalaceintroduction.aspx

Bizoute

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oh wow. i hate london. but that looks completely amazing. how tempting.

Offline Charlotte Mew

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i am wondering whether to be tempted - will it be sycophantic about British royal princesses I wonder, that would turn me anti-royalist me right off.   They are clearly exploiting the connection of Kensington Palace with Diana (tourist draw) but it could be good nonetheless.