(2/24/01 5:14:23 pm)
|A Mother's Tale|
I feel quite guilty posting a question for all of you, because I have been unbelievably swamped with work lately and totally incapable of posting even the tiniest comments on any of the current dialogue.
But, I am working on something right now and in my research came across a reference to an "Indian" tale (no further identification as to origin) called "A Mother's Tale." Has anyone heard of this tale? It is about a mother and a child, death and vision. (I pasted in an excerpt below--it's quite long).
I am also interested if anyone knows of tales that deal with daughters, eyes and mothers in particular. Of course there are the Baba Yaga tales, occasionally dealing with light and eyes and girls--"Burenushka," in particular, and also the related "One-Eye, Two-Eyes and Three-Eyes." Does anyone have the titles of any others, or thoughts on the relationship between eyes, daughter and mothers?
Sorry, again to be so darn selfish. In exactly TWO WEEKS I will be back to my life again, and back to the board with gusto. (Threat or promise? Who can know.)
Excerpt from "A Mother's Tale"
A mother sat there with her little child. She was so downcast, so afraid that it should die! It was so pale, the small eyes had closed themselves, and it drew its breath so softly, now and then, with a deep respiration, as if it sighed; and the mother looked still more sorrowfully on the little creature.
Then a knocking was heard at the door, and in came a poor old man wrapped up as in a large horse-cloth, for it warms one, and he needed it, as it was the cold winter season! Everything out-of doors was covered with ice and snow, and the wind blew so that it cut the face.
As the old man trembled with cold, and the little child slept a moment, the mother went and poured some ale into a pot and set it on the stove, that it might be warm for him; the old man sat and rocked the cradle, and the mother sat down on a chair close by him, and looked at her little sick child that drew its breath so deep, and raised its little hand.
"Do you not think that I shall save him?" said she. "Our Lord will not take him from me!" And the old man--it was Death himself--he nodded so strangely, it could just as well signify yes as no.
(2/25/01 1:15:55 pm)
|Eyes, mothers, and daughters|
Well, it's embarrassingly simplistic, but since no one else has posted yet, I'll name Snow White. The stepmother's obsession with the mirror, a visual object, and her own beauty, plus the power of "the gaze" throughout the tale, from the hunter all the way to the prince. Or were you looking for lesser-known and/or ethnic tales? I might be able to pick my brain later this evening, when I'm a little less swamped. I'll try to check through my copy of _Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World_ by Kathleen Ragan (Editor) and preface by Jane Yolen. Has anyone else got this book?
(2/25/01 3:45:14 pm)
No, Snow White is a perfect example! How on earth did I not think of Snow White already? I guess sometimes when you think too hard on a subject you forget the obvious. Snow White is exactly what I need. Thanks for posting--not simplistic at all. I was the simplistic one.
Also yes, I have that collection too, and like it. Do you?
(2/26/01 3:49:16 pm)
Are you looking specifically at European cultures? I have some West and North African tales that might be suitable...but I didn't want to skew a research idea if you were thiknig in European catagories.
(2/26/01 5:18:22 pm)
|No, not just European!|
Thanks, Midori. I'm looking for any, really. In fact I'd be very interested in African tales.
(2/28/01 9:44:45 pm)
|Re: Eyes, mothers, and daughters|
I dodn't know if this is redundant, but Jane Yolen also wrote a book with her daughter called "Mirror, Mirror" all about fairy tales that deal with the mother/daughter relationship.
(3/2/01 6:05:06 am)
I have that "Fearless Girls...Beloved Sisters" anthology, too, and it is a terrific book, with tales from all over the world. Worth seeking out.