(12/6/01 11:29:14 pm)
| Adding Deerskin to SurLaLune|
This is a general call for help. In celebration of over 200,000 hits on my site, I am going to add one or two new fairy tales. Deerskin is my first choice and I have decided on the other one yet.
I need help compiling the list of modern interpretations such as novels, short stories, poetry, etc. I am also compiling my list of variants in other cultures and scholarly resources. Please feel free to recommend anything related to the tale. I wrote up notes a while back but they have disappeared. I remember many, but all of you will jiggle my memory loose and/or add things I never knew about anyway.
I do know Robin McKinley's "Deerskin" and Sophie Masson's "Cold Iron" off the top of my head.
Please also feel free to vote for the second fairy tale, although the final choice will be mine, of course. : )
(12/7/01 3:59:44 am)
I would put Helen's essay (on Endicott Studio site) there. And my short story of course. Did Angela Carter do a take on Donkeyskin?
(12/7/01 4:01:22 am)
| Re: Adding Deerskin to SurLaLune
Well, to start, there's an article on Terri's site this month about this very topic, most specifically about 3 books: Deerskin, "Allerleirauh," and "Donkeyskin," by Robin McKinley, Jane Yolen, and Terri. I'll think of more later, but I have to get to work!
(12/7/01 4:04:39 am)
don't forget the movie "Peau d'ane" with Catherine Denueve.
(12/7/01 6:32:36 am)
| more titles|
Heidi, I tried posting this before -- so if it shows up somewhere strange, I apologize. At any rate, Anna was planning on doing a chapter on Deerskin for the new book but it did not happen, however we included it in the appendix and in addition to the reworkings already mentioned in this discussion, there are 3 short stories: Emma Donoghue "The Tale of the Skin" (Kissing the Witch); Doug Allynn "Thousandfurs" (Once Upon a Crime) and Barbara Wilson "Suit of Leather" (Salt Water and Other Stories).
(12/7/01 6:38:52 am)
| Re: deerskin|
Invaluable as a source (though painfully difficult to find) is Marian
Roalfe Cox's book of 345 variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap
o'Rushes. Last published in 1893. Ouch. Atop the stories that have
already been mentioned, Midori did a "next generation"
takeoff in _Black Thorn, White Rose_, entitled "Tattercoats."
I desperately wanted to include it ... but ... length limitations
prevailed. Definitely including it in my MA thesis, though, which
is on also on the topic of Donkeyskin varients. Will add more later
- must write final paper now. Thanks for thinking of me, Jane &
(12/7/01 6:46:48 am)
| Fair tale qualification...|
You're welcome Helen!
Heidi, for the second fairy tale, what are you using for qualifications?
Must it be a trditional "fairy tale" as in the Grimm,
Perrault, Anderson popular sense? Can it be any other kind of story
that has bits of fantastic that has been retold many times in many
ways? I have some ideas, but want to hear what exactly you're looking
(12/7/01 7:25:12 am)
| retellings of Donkeyskin|
Midori has a lovely Donkeyskin poem in the Coffee House part of the Endicott site. Also, don't know whether you're looking for illustrations, Heidi, but I have a Donkeyskin painting in my second Endicott Studio Gallery show (the fairy tale one).
And to clarify Kerrie's post, only one of the Donkeyskin retellings that Helen discusses in her essay is a book (Robin McKinley's "Deerskin"); the other two are a short story (Jane) and prose poem (me) published in the anthology The Armless Maiden. Actually, "Deerskin" was initially intended for The Armless Maiden -- Robin began the tale after I approached her about contributing such a story to the anthology. But it grew into a novel instead.
Edited by: Terri at: 12/7/01 7:30:22 am
(12/7/01 8:59:42 am)
| ...and it grew into a novel instead ....|
I was originally just going to post to share this link, which I
found in my "Favorites" file, which concerns 510A and
510B varients (www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dkbr...ella.html)
when Terri's last coment caught my eye. When Maria Tatar came down
to Dartmouth, I (shamelessly) pressed copies of the essays that
I was writing on Donkeyskin on her, and she made an off-hand comment
that I should write a book on the topic; the idea's been percolating
in my head ever since. I'm not even *in* a Ph.D. program as yet
... but, I have to say, it makes for an appealing dissertation topic;
it's something that I'm getting to know fairly well (I am likely
- and deservedly - one of the few people familiar with the Russian
variant of 510B entitled "The Louse-Skin Cloak." We're
an interesting people, we Russians ...) and, judging from the dearth
of sources dealing with this tale specifically, rather than as an
addendum to Cinderella, I think that a Donkeyskin casebook might
qualify for that Ph.D. hurdle of "an original contribution
to the field," or however they phrase it. What do you guys
think? Viable, or just a fever dream caused by sleep-deprivation?
(12/7/01 10:43:14 am)
| Re: ...and it grew into a novel instead ....|
I am gathering:
and anything else pertinent!
Thanks for all of the recommendations. I actually scanned the Deerskin illustrations from many of the books back when I first created the illustration site, so I have quite a few ready to go such as Kay Nielsen and Arthur Rackham.
I have more questions about Donkeyskin than many other tales, especially thanks to McKinley's book, I think. Just had a patron last week ask for all of her books after discovering her "Deerskin."
I have been planning on Deerskin for quite a while, but have been busy living life instead the past year or so.
And Kerrie, I prefer a more traditional tale since many, many classrooms use the site, too. I am most frequently asked about Gingerbread Boy, Goldilocks, and Three Little Pigs thanks to all of the fractured versions in picture books. I am not particularly excited about any of them--except during storytime when I use them all--but I do want the site to be helpful as well as just fun for me.
I have always been rather fond of The Princess in the Pea myself. I want those mattresses!
(12/7/01 12:34:23 pm)
| caffeine dreams . . .|
Helen - I like it. And if Maria Tatar told you to do it, who are you to argue?
(12/7/01 12:44:36 pm)
I understand Heidi! Thinking of multi-variant stories that would
be good to annotate is tough. The Gingerbread Man has a great variant
with The Stinky Cheese Man. I think HMCo has a new 3 Little Pigs
book. I was originally going to suggest The Nutcracker and the Mouse
King, but I'm not sure if that's traditional enough. Actually, if
you think about it, it kind of fits in the Beauty and the Beast
category- prince made ugly by a spell, young woman who loves him
must free him from curse. I'll think about this on the train to
Edited by: Kerrie at: 12/7/01 12:46:48 pm
(12/7/01 6:05:17 pm)
| 3 pigs|
There are two new Three Little Pigs in children's books this year (one by David Wiesner) that are interesting post modern TLPs in which the characters comment upon the story as they act in them.
(12/8/01 12:09:03 pm)
I love that tale (half-Russian, my family). I don't actually have a copy of it in print; my grandmother used to tell it. Bedtime was quite, um, different in my household, I guess! (She also told The Snotty Goat tale.) I just wanted to write and say that I think a book on Donkeyskin variants would be fantastic. Donkeyskin/Catskin/Louse-skin . . . these are, I should admit, my favorite tales, the ones that, when I discovered them, became a sort of breakthrough for me intellectually and artistically. A book on these tales would definitely make an original contribution. Proceed! Do it!
(12/8/01 12:21:43 pm)
| Marian Roalfe Cox's book|
Avoiding the work I HAVE to do today to brainstorm new projects . . .!
But, I had a question for all of you, particularly Helen or Terri: what about approaching a publisher to do a reprint edition of this collection of tales, if it is this difficult to find? I have a good "in" with an editor eager for fairytale books. She is particularly interested in reissuing books that have disappeared or gone overlooked. I wonder if there might be interest in an abridged edition of Marian Roalfe Cox's book (which sadly I do not have), along with new versions of Donkeyskin tales . . .
I hope you don't feel I am intruding on your topic, Helen, with this idea. If you don't feel intruded upon, and if you think maybe it's a good idea, I will do a quick query to my editor . . . and I would be interested in working on this book WITH someone, perhaps you, Helen, or Terri (not that you don't have too much other work!) if you thought it was a good idea? Has this already been done, a collection of Donkeyskin tales, exclusively, am I missing something? Correct my ignorance if I am wrong. I know SO MUCH LESS than all of you about what is already available.
(12/8/01 12:39:56 pm)
| Deerskin Tales|
To the best of my knowledge there is no collection of Deerskin tales in print. I haven't seen Cox's book myself, but I have understood it was more a discussion of the variants with examples than an anthology of variants. I have also understood it to emphasize the more traditional Cinderella tale while offering Deerskin tales as variants of Cinderella. Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong!
I have always rather wished Dover would do a reprinting of the original Cox book, but who knows what will happen.
My experience is that Deerskin has been left out of many modern anthologies, just like Bluebeard, since it is considered to be too adult for the likely child readers whose parents are not comfortable discussing incest. (Not my opinion, just the reasoning I have been given.) Bluebeard, on the other hand, is too violent. No wonder Carter and McKinley used these tales as inspiration for some of their most profound retellings.
I think both a scholarly study of Deerskin such as Helen is proposing and an anthology of Deerskin tales would be fascinating. But that is who I am!
Kate, I think a Sleeping Beauty Anthology of variants--not necessarily scholarly--would be even more marketable. Hearne has published the Beauty and the Beast anthology and the same publisher did a Cinderella collection, too. I remember Terri has tried to sell one with modern interpretations without much enthusiasm from the publisher.
(12/8/01 1:12:10 pm)
Thanks for the feedback, Heidi.
I'd really love to do a Deerskin/Catskin etc anthology--new tales and old. I agree that the tales have been omitted from many anthologies because they are distressing--perhaps, as Tatar suggests in her intro to the Cinderella section in her Norton collection, because they are too close to the truth (not too frightening/alien, but threateningly realistic). Dover SHOULD do a reissue of the other book, it's true. But if they don't I imagine a percentage of the material may be obtainable via permission.
Sleeping Beauty would also make a great anthology, you're right. Wouldn't it be great to have a boxed set of tale collections, each book containing tales of one type? Hm. My wheels are spinning. Terri, did you propose a Sleeping Beauty collection, and got little encouragement, as Heidi suggests?
(12/8/01 1:58:45 pm)
Good luck. I have tried to interest publishers in such items for years--a Cinderella volume, a Sleeping Beauty volumes. No seems very interested.
I have used the Cox, by the way, years ago. When I did my article "America's Ciinderella." To the best of my recollection, it was dull as ditch water in a particularly scholarly fashion. Full of tables. As an ex-editor, I can't see reproducing it in a book. Perfect, though, for online research. Heidi?????
(12/8/01 2:48:06 pm)
| Re: collections|
I believe that there is a company in London willing to do print
facsimiles of the Cox on demand for obscene sums of money - something
like $250 - so I don't know what the restrictions on a re-edition
might be. Jane is quite right when she says that it is "Full
of tables." (and, I have to say, as a humanities person, I
love the contempt for the acutarial mindset that comes across there
... ). Heidi is equally correct in saying that it emphasizes the
Cinderella tales while offering Deerskin tales as variants upon
that motif. There have been a few other books of abstracts, but,
again, they seem to focus more heavily upon Cinderella. If your
editor is interested in reprinting, it would be wonderful; maybe,
to combat that "dull scholarly feel" and to bring the
focus to the most unexamined motif in the book - the Donkeyskin
- it might be possible to do something halfway between an abridged
version and an expanded one ... reprinting the 130 odd Donkeyskin
oriented abstracts, along with translations of the tales discussed,
with a section of modern tales - Jane's, Terri's, Midori's, and
the others that have been mentioned in this thread, to name only
a few - and a section of scholarly essays on the topic at the back
... Bettelheim, Tatar, Warner, etc., as reprints, with new essays
from interested contributors ... apparently, this idea has not been
merely percolating, but preparing to spring forth from my brow fully-fledged,
because I can see how I'd like it to be very clearly. If I had a
resource like that on hand now, my life this year would be *so*
much simpler this year (and the inter-library loan people might
not duck behind their desks when they saw me coming...). Kate, if
you're serious about suggesting this and potentially wanting to
work together, I would be over-the-top enthusiastic about it. The
thing that's been driving me bananas is how to actually go about
putting it together ... I know research, I know writing, but as
for the technicalities of publishing (i.e., can a publisher be approached
with a concept and two chapters, or does one need an entire manuscript?),
I'm a babe in arms. Please feel free to e-mail me at Helen.Pilinovsky@dartmouth.edu
if you'd like to talk about this at all ... I know that I would
(12/8/01 3:44:47 pm)
And if anyone ever does a ~Beauty and the ~Beast volume, my daughter has a dynamite unpublished story!
(12/8/01 8:10:51 pm)
Jane--thanks for the tip on your daughter's story! It could come in handy someday I'm sure, to know about it.
Helen--yes, I will email you off the board. I am VERY serious about the project. Those are my favorite tales, and I've often, often thought they should be collected in one place and foregrounded much more for readers.