Hello! I’m Lauren and have been given the honour of talking about my favourite fairy-tales.
I have a fascination with fairy-tales and their purpose throughout the history of storytelling. To the extent that I wrote a practice-based essay during my third year, exploring why retellings continue to be traditionally published and haven’t become DOA (Dead-on-Arrival) yet. There are so many variations of the fairy-tales we so often visit as children, taking form in multiple of ways, from Disney’s films to Pantomimes to picture books. For context, I am talking predominately about Western and European tales, as these are the ones that unfortunately take the largest precedent in the US and UK traditional publishing markets.
For me, it is the feeling of familiarity and the predictable nature that keeps me drawn in. There is just something wonderful about the change in seasons (particularly moving from Summer into Autumn) that has me down for getting under layers of soft blankets and soothing my soul with some fairy-tale retellings. For me, that fairy-tale is Bluebeard by Angela Carter.
In summary, Bluebeard follows a young woman who is about to be married to the recently widowed Marquis. When the Marquis must go away on business, he leaves her the keys to the castle, with all but one as her’s to use. Secrets unravel to reveal the true nature of the Marquis bereavement and she begins to fear for her own life.
The Bluebeard tale can be traced back to French author, Charles Perrault, but I believe elements of the tale can be found in the many stories that circulated in the oral story-telling culture of pre-printing press.
Since the 18th and 19th Century, the tale has gone on to be retold many times. More recent examples include Alex Garland’s Ex-Machina (2015), Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (2015 – and well worth a watch over Hallowe’en) and Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993). But, it has to be Angela Carter’s use of Gothic Literature, Feminism and gory depiction that hold this tale close to my heart.Thank you for reading if you made it this far in my mild nerd out for fairy-tales.