Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Evolution of Fairytales


Once Upon a Time, in a land far away, is the beginning of many stories that we now know as Fairytales.  These are stories passed down through the centuries.  They have been adapted through the ages from oral tradition to written works by numerous sources.  Some of the most well-known names  begin with Charles Perrault’s Mother Goose Tales, then came the Brothers Grimm’s Children’sand Household Tales, and then eventually this type of story was called “fairy-tales” by Hans Christian Anderson.  

In modern days we have come to equate Disney with Fairytales despite their loose interpretations of the stories told though the ages.  But even Disney still had a formula for the tales told long ago and far away.

So what happens to those same stories when you take out the “long ago” and “far away” aspect?  Why you get some pretty modern, hip stories that make you fall in love with Fairytales all over again.  That’s what Cindy C. Bennett has done in her Enchanted Fairytales.  She has once again re-invented the time tested stories and told them is a completely charming and yet utterly modern way.

So what do you get when Beauty puts on her ripped blue jeans and is blackmailed into spending time with a horribly disfigured young man?  Why only the greatest re-telling of Beauty and the Beast ever!

And then there is Ruby with her flaming red hair that earns her an only too familiar nickname.  And the wolf?  Well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but just let me tell you… you’ll fall in love with this feisty young woman. 

I know Snow White has been re-told a thousand times lately, but this time it has soul.  None of the whole “meet one time and then a kiss to awaken her.”  They actually spend time together and the love is genuine. 

And who could forget Cinderella?  Only one stepsister this time, but isn’t it great to have a “prince” who doesn’t forget the face of the women he fell madly in love with and have to use a shoe to find her?!  Once again the romance is genuine because of the time they spend getting to know each other.

White Swan is the one story that I really don’t know much about and have even had a hard time tracking down a source.  It would seem that the Russian ballet, Swan Lake is the most closely related to this story, but I do not know that much about it.  What I do know is that Bennett’s story captured my interest completely.  I loved the tale of the sisters who turn into swans by day and how they must find a way to break the curse.    

Some of these stories hold a bit of magic, but not in the way the books I typically read do.  These short stories are truly Fairytales and their enchantment holds true even 200 years after the Grimm brothers put them to paper.  Thank you Cindy Bennett for making such classics relevant for today.

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