(2/24/03 3:12:17 pm)
It's all Terri Windling & ROF's fault. I blame them entirely for this mess I seem to have gotten myself into. I'm sitting in my classical approaches to mythology class and we're discussing Ovid and his take on Demeter and Persephone. And the professor talks about Persephone's friends who get turned into birds, which made me think of the natural link to Charles de Lindt's raven girls. And we're discussing other myths and I think about how nicely they relate to TW's recent Folk Roots column. And now I'm writing a bloody midterm on the subject!
So . . . if anyone has suggestions on how I can compare/contrast changeling mythology in Ovid with changeling stories in fairy tales or fantasy, I'd appreciate all the help I can get. Please?
| Kerrie |
(2/24/03 3:23:46 pm)
| Re: Changelings
Well, are there any particular stories you want to focus on? I just did a search and found this site with a list of the tales:
of Ovid's Metamorphoses
You might want to choose a few, say five, that you'd like to focus
on, then maybe go from there? Sorry I can't be of more help at the
moment. I'll try to check in with Mnemosyne before going on.
| flamebrain00 |
(2/24/03 4:17:17 pm)
| Re: Changelings
I suppose there aren't any true ties to traditional changeling tales. Not changeling as in fairy tales. What I'd like to do is draw attention to the links between mythology and fairy/folk tales more than changelings.
For instance, all sorts of fanciful creatures are referenced in Ovid's "The Creation," where he refers to satyrs and nymphs, fanciful spirits of heaven.
In addition, there's the whole changing into an animal/plant phenomenon to explain nature. Phaethon's sisters turn into trees and their tears turn to amber, Demeter turns a boy into a newt, Narcissus turns into a flower, Persephone's friends turn into birds.
Finally, there's the part of fairy legend where TW sparked my interest. If you eat in the fairy realm, you're stuck, which directly correlates to Persephone's fate in the Underworld - having eaten a pomegranate, she is condemned to remain 6 months out of the year with her kidnapper husband.
It's a short midterm, so I'm planning to concentrate on the myth of Demeter & Persephone, the myth of Phaethon, and possibly Narcissus.
(2/24/03 7:29:39 pm)
| Shape-shifts and bindings...
Okay, this makes it a little bit easier to focus. :)
Relating to characters who change their form:
Brother and Sister- Brother, because he drinks fromt he enchanted brook, changes into a deer.
The Frog King, or Iron Henry: Frog returns to original form of human prince.
Beauty and the Beast: Beast returns to original form of human prince.
Six Swans: 6 brothers are changed into swans by their stepmother, then back into human boys, one with a swan's wing.
Relating to characters who are bound by eating food:
Adam and Eve: Cast forth from the Garden of Eden after eating of The Fruit of Knowledge.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: Bound in "death" by eating an apple poisoned by her mother/step-mother.
Hansel and Gretel: Bound as dinner and servant by eating the old woman/witch's house.
A link to an old post to look at:
Queen, White Queen: Lilith vs Eve & All for an Apple
That's all I can think of right now. I'll try to think of some more tomorrow.
Edited by: Kerrie at: 2/24/03 7:30:56 pm
(2/25/03 3:48:53 am)
| Hundreds and hundreds
As far as transformative stories, there are hundreds and hundreds: selchies, pookahs, swan maidens, werewolves, werefoxes, even werebullfrogs, were bears, weretigers, oh my!
In my book FAVORITE FOLKTALES AROUND THE WORLD, there is a section called SHAPE SHIFTERS, which has 9 stories, including a Swedish swan maiden tale, an Icelandic selchie story, a French cat-shifting woman, a Spanish woman-to-snake tale, and a Peruvian snake-shifter story.
(2/25/03 8:01:48 am)
| Children of
adulterous unions ...
This doesn't quite fit the traditional definition of the changeling, the child of wholly foreign and supranatural origins substituted for a human child belonging to a committed pair, but what about the myriad children that spring from adulterous unions between mortals and deities? Helen and Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux, Heracles, Jason, Orpheus, Phaethon ... the list goes on and on. Frequently, though the Olympian deities are collectively aware of the relationships, either the mothers are deceived as to the nature of their lovers, or the human fathers are not, apparently, informed of their offsprings paternity until they begin to behave in interesting ways. Greek myth differs from more recent folklore concerning changelings in that while the latter emphasizes the removal of the Other from the normative society (admittedly, there are exceptions to this rule ... we just had a thread on the Green Children), the former embraces the differences. I'd say that this can be traced to the fact (and I'm sorry if I'm being painfully obvious here) that the Greeks were pantheists who embraced the ideas of corporeal, anthropomorphic divinities, whereas the folk who molded the majority of the changeling tales that we know were Christians, for whom the Fair Folk were cultural memory more than conscious belief. As magic was anathema to the tenets of the faith, the inherent conflict was resolved through keeping the stories, but casting the characters who came from beyond these fields we know in a less than positive light. I could be completely off on this ... just an off-the-top-of-my-head theory. Good luck!
(2/25/03 8:59:17 am)
| Old threads...
A few old threads on changelings that may help:
and Stolen Children
And Terri Windling's latest article from her Endicott Studio site:
...which I believe you've already read in print, but the online version has links to the books for purchase, if they interest you.
Hope this helps.