(6/29/02 5:07:39 pm)
| Are there fairy tales that deal with alcoholism?|
I'd appreciate any references or ideas.
(6/29/02 7:26:42 pm)
| Re: Are there fairy tales that deal with alcoholism?|
I can't think of any versions that featured it in their original forms ... but there are retellings that do deal with alcohol-related issues. Try those authored by George Cruikshanks - he was a card-carrying member of the temperance movement, and had a tendency to throw in what some (Dickens) thought to be gratuituous references. Good luck!
(6/30/02 12:50:55 am)
| Fairy enchantment?|
I suppose tales about people who are led to wander inside the mountain, to fairyland, under the sea, etc. and returns several hundred years later when their family and friends are long gone, can be used to comment on alcoholism.
(6/30/02 5:59:19 am)
Pauline's comment made me think of all the drinks that are given to men to make them fall asleep and forget the heroine - I think of all the "East of the sun, West of the moon" stories, where the girl finally finds the prince and trades her gifts from the sun, the moon etc. against a night with the prince but he is asleep - I suppose you could give this a twist towards alcohol... Just a thought!
Also, in a lot of tales with 3 sons guarding - the precious field, the tree, whatever - the two older ones bring fine food and wine, whereas the youngest brings bread and water, and succeeds. And so on... But it is a little far-fetched, I think, to call this alcoholism. Same above!
Best regards, Lotti
(7/1/02 2:08:14 am)
In Russian fairy tales, Misery is an old man who attaches himself to his victim's back and induces him to drink away all his belongings.
Aleksandr Avanas'ev's collected Russian Fairy Tales contains the basic story.
(7/1/02 4:32:05 am)
| book maybe of interest|
"Cheechako" by Dan Mcfadden sounds like the sort of book you might be after. I haven't read it myself, just the extract on his website at
It deals with lots of addictions, not just alocoholism in a mystery/fantasy/horror setting.
write your own dream
(7/1/02 5:26:05 am)
I think the sleeping-draughts insight is excellent. There is also a tradition of eating or drinking the food of faerie having disasterous results. The story that comes to mind is Rip-Van-Winkle. After he awakes from his sleep he finds his children are grown, his friends are dead, and his entire life has passed him by. An apt metaphor for alcoholism, don't you think?
(7/4/02 11:36:47 am)
| Japanese Drinking Tales|
Some Japanese folktales feature heavy drinking heroes. The drunkenness is usually comedic. I think there were a few cases where the drunkenness allowed a spirit of some kind to take advantage of the character. I went to an old style folk theatre and the main character was drinking and eating immense amounts of sake, beer and rice throughout the entire play. He was a fighter, possibly a low-ranking samurai. I was told that this character is a common one in that type of theatre. If I can find any of the stories, I'll let you know.
When I lived in Japan in the late 1980s, it didn't have the same concept of alcoholism that we in the United States have. I was talking to my aunt's father, he's from an old samurai family, about an alcoholic family member who was coming to visit. No matter how I tried to explain that the drinking was a problem, he said, "Sounds like a good guy." At least in Tokyo, drinking after work with co-workers and clients was an expected activity. It wasn't uncommon to see a man in a business suit passed out leaning against the wall of the subway station late at night. People stepped gently around them and there was none of the public condemnation we'd expect to see and hear.
(7/10/02 10:34:19 am)
| The Red Shoes|
Clarissa Estes Pinkola deals with alocoholism and addiction in her discussion of the Red Shoes in Women Who Run With the Wolves.