Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's your favourite myth?

I think mine might be the King Arthur myths - I love nearly all of them.  Myths seem to be inherently sad stories, I'm struggling to think of one that has a happy ending.  There was an interesting book by Tanith Lee called "White As Snow" which mixed the Persephone myth with the Snow White fairytale - deeply skin-crawly in parts, but good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are there only a small number of plots in the world?

Right, lets start with fairytales.  I think it is fascinating that nearly every culture has a "Cinderella" story, the article I read said one of the earliest is from China, I think circa 800 AD (featuring a talking, prophetic fish - but lets not get into that...)  Does this tie into the idea that there are a limited number of plots in the world and no new material, merely interpretations?

Micah sent me a very funny email on the subliminal messages of the Disney princesses, all along the lines that beauty is their only skill, which is interesting as I don't remember it as being such a focal point of true fairytales, aside from Snow White's "skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood".  Also, very few Disney-fied happy endings, fairytales were originally intended for an adult audience and very dark, often without happy endings.  So what would our view of fairytales be like, had we not had a Disney-fish-eye on them?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Myths and Fairytales

This picture (left) is why I bought a particular, unknown book from a bargain bin years ago.   And because of it I discovered urban fantasy which has become my favourite type of book to read.  Maybe it's because I want to believe there is a little bit of mystery in our world.  The best of the genre is beautiful and strange and I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to read in November, so lets start with who's reading what...