Friday, September 19, 2014

A tale before going to sleep? The dark truth behind fairytales

versión en español

Good night, my dears,

  it's getting late, but a sharp mind never rests, right? In my times, in order to help children fall asleep we used to tell stories, and I have always felt fascinated by them. Perrault, brothers Grimm, Andersen...

  I would tell you one, but I suspect my version may not be the same you know: regrettably, with the coming and going of the years, those endearing stories my mother usually told me have changed. With such a thick sugar coating I can barely get a glimpse of the original tale! I admit they can be harsh sometimes, but is it not that harshness what attracts us irresistibly?

  There are sexual hints everywhere in these stories, but over time, the first versions got those bits sanitized while the level of violence grew ostensibly (very curious how we think, violence is acceptable but sex is not).

  And you all know about the infamous stepmother of Snow White, or Hansel and Gretel's, a woman who was incapable of loving children unrelated to her, so she decides to finish them off. In the first versions, however, there was no stepmother, only a biological mother. Atrocious, of course! But it is undeniable that not all mother love their children unconditionally...
...and I suppose you will ask me here "madame Malèvre, do you have children?" Oh, my, for me all of you are my dearest children, and my love for you is unquestionable. True, love can be expressed in many ways.

  Although I will probably talk about these fairytales sometime again, I encourage you to look around if you are interested because there is plenty of places with lots of information about it.

  I will leave you with some illustrations by Ángela Acosta, her unique style inspired by the fairytales can be seen accompanying a recent edition of "The Bloody Chamber" of Angela Carter. Since it may be kind of difficult to find, I will also leave here a link to some of her creations.

  Sweet dreams, my dears...
Marguerite B. Malèvre

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