(3/20/01 11:15:08 am)
|fairy tale essay??|
I have to write a fairy tale essay for school based on the quote "You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego ar for King Midas' court."
I do not have a clue about how to go about this. Any ideas anyone???
(3/20/01 5:28:46 pm)
Wow. Now this is an interesting assignment. The kind of thing I would have jumped on in school. Since I'm not at all sure what you've been doing in class up to this point...(are you talking about fairy tales at all? if so which ones and how?) or have you been reading other literatures and this topic is supposed to blend in with earlier themes that have been raised?
But if it was me...I start by thinking about the notion of travel, journey, adventure, and self realization which seems implied as activities in the quote...all of which happens in fairy tale narratives (where the landscape may be fantastic, the forest, the veld or desert, the ocean, the underworld--the hero or heroine traveling to a new destination) and in mainstream novels of adventure and self discovery (for example, Joesph Conrad's work, Herman Melville, Mark Twain's "Roughing It" and if you are reading modern literatures, anything by Bruce Chatwin, Theroux, and a great new book by Vietnamese-American author Andrew X. Pham, called "Catfish and Mandala" about bicycling through Vietnam and going in back in time to piece together the frantic and torn apart days of his childhood before the fall of Saigon and his immigration to the US). Self discovery is a way of altering time--a synthesis of childhood and a stretch into a future as an adult. That too is part of fairy tales that feature stories about the transformation of adolescence into adults. So we travel--physically, emotionally and in a sense in time--the past of childhood, the future of our adult lives. The quote gives the possiblity of such a movement, whether it is in the fantastic landscape of fairy tales, of the mainstream landscape of the journeying novel. (Just think of "Seven Years in Tibet" by Herregel--sorry that may not be the right spelling--time and space together in the title, and a story about the coming of age of a young man--) Take a look at interesting and complex fairy tales--hero or heroine tales--try East of the Sun and West of the Moon, or "The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth and the Water of Life (from "Russian Fairy Tales" edited by Afanasev. It's great hero tale!) Literature, imagination, narrative all give us journeys...and I think thats what the quote suggests.
hope this helps and isn't more cryptic than the quote! Keep us posted on what you decide to so.
(3/20/01 7:00:21 pm)
|The Diving Bell and the Butterfly|
Incidentally, that quote is from a book called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a lovely meditation by J. Bauby, who suffered from "Locked-In Syndrome." He 'dictated' the book from his bedside using an intricate system of eye blinks.