Doyle and William Allingham. 1870. In Fairyland: A Series of Pictures from the Elf-World (London: Longmans). Engraving, Richard Doyle (1824–83)
Freya Mathews suggests engaging with the environment through panpsychism, noting that to ‘enter the terrain of faerie is to step through the veil of everyday appearances into a realm in which everything holds the possibility of transformation and transfiguration’ ( 2003 : 17). She describes how walking through a fairytale is like a
activities such as storytelling, music, or poetry, for self-understanding) in Almodóvar’s cinema, hence its ‘disrupted time and the mixing of diverse narrative units’. As Richard Lane and Philip Tew state, in contemporary mythopoetic texts ‘adjacency of past and present becomes an aesthetic dynamic. … History is both interrogated and becomes interrogative’ ( 2003 : 12). Adriana Novoa’s analysis of Hable con ella ’s use of fairy-tale motifs, the most apparent of which is the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ myth (cf. Naughten, 2006 ), observes this juxtaposition, concluding that ‘the
Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor’s Last Sigh
cross-cultural allusions. Haroun , in the space of its two hundred pages duplicates the narrative complexity of the story sea it depicts by drawing freely upon a range on narrative pre-texts, including European, Middle Eastern and Indian fairytale, pop music lyrics, English children’s classics, Indian cinema, Persian poetry, political allegory and science fiction. The Moor’s Last Sigh , likewise, interweaves references to a vertiginous range of fictions, films and art-works, including Dalí and Buñuel’s Chien Andalou (MLS, 148–9), The Wizard of Oz (MLS, 304
for her chapter on Finnish witchcraft. Retribution in
cases of bewitchment ‘tended to assume the form of counter-sorcery rather
than physical violence’. There was ‘no need’ to cause bodily harm.
Elsewhere, folklore material does occasionally reveal violent unwitchments,
but the bulk, however, show non-violent reactions. This material concerns
not so much narratives, stories with a clear structure such as fairytales,
Irish contemporary women’s fiction and the expression of desire in an era of plenty
love and romance, providing her readers with the delight of a
happy ending in the form of the fairy-tale union of the Prince Charming
with Cinderella, even though she made a point of ending the story at
the moment when the marriage actually began, evading the necessity
of describing what marital bliss could be like. She was thus already
introducing the idea that women cannot be satisfied with the material
comfort or the social status provided by marriage and instead yearn
for other types of satisfaction. This is what Sigmund Freud explained
‘What does a woman want
‘final word’ in the definition of these genres, but his is a useful place to start. Bascom differentiates between folktales (fairy-tales, to most of us), legends and myths. Regardless of any disagreement on the nature of Bascom’s definitions, what is important here is simply that these are three different genres of oral narrative folklore, which have different meanings and fulfil different functions. As frustrating as it is to see scholars of mythology (in general) and myth and film (in particular) reducing mythic narratives to ‘universal archetypes’, it equally
Wagner the Wehr-wolf, Sweeney Todd and the limits of human responsibility
predatory immorality rather than by his actually behaving like an animal, let alone physically turning into one. (His name may be an allusion to the English fairy-tale villain Mr Fox, who, like Todd, murders and robs a whole succession of victims; in the German version of the same story, ‘The Robber Bridegroom’, he eats their corpses, too.)
Similarly, in his description of historical cannibals and serial killers in his Book of Were-wolves , Baring-Gould moves fluidly between killers who carried out their crimes in
order to investigate both the events that led up to
it and its likely future consequences. Tales about ghosts also bring the past
into the present because time is no longer subject to linear progression. It
can move backwards, or leap forwards, or apparently stop altogether.
Some stories recreate the past in order for the characters to ﬁnd release
from it, or, alternatively, to deepen their perception of the present. Some
of the stories are whodunnits, others fairytales, or parables, or individual
memoirs of loss. Whose story it is is important. In The Memory of
been in the palace.
The fairy-tale world of this story seemed long distant as I edged around the hectic north-west corner of the junction, speakers blaring promotional slogans from outside the small shops which arced around the corner, arrayed below the mismatched towers of the Beijing ‘Urban-Rural Trade Centre’.
I stopped to buy a coke, and sheltered from the heat under the street-seller’s parasol for a few minutes. The xiaomaibu was a flimsy rectangle with a canvas roof, bordered on each side of its
Borders and images in migration narratives published in Norwegian
Louis Edmond-Hamelin reminds us in his analysis of Canadian northernness and arcticity, the North is a concept produced by a combination of different semantic fields, and is also associated with winterliness, but also alpinity or mountainousness (see Chartier, 2007 : 40–1).
However, Maria sees the mountains not as something exotic but rather as something familiar: in the quotation above, ‘Just like home in the Caucasus’. They are still associated with the fantastic – they are eventyrlige , precisely ‘fairy-tale like’ – but, like fairytales, also