(2/1/04 5:50 pm)
'fairy tale' or local legend, fable, joke story, etc|
Point three: traditional fairy tales covered the same territory as horror stories and films do, from the fantastic, to morality plays (most splatter movies), to incredibly grim and violent stories involving multiple horrible deaths and far from happy endings (also most splatter movies).
Which 'fairy tale' titles do you mean? If the original of everything in Grimm, Afanasev, and Lang is to be called a 'fairy tale', that might apply. But that would lose important distinctions between local legend, saint story, animal fable, marchen, etc.
(2/3/04 2:07 pm)
Company of Wolves|
blurring the line a bit more here. I recently went on a bit of a quest to find The Company of Wolves. (the movie from the 1980's). I do realize that this particular movie is very strongly based on Angela Carter's short stories from The Bloody Chamber. Now I do find that this movie stradles the line a bit and perhaps might be of some use to Atreyu in his research. It is categorized as a Horror film and certainly has some elements of a horror flick (mostly a few gruesome transformation scenes of men into wolves.) The storyline however is definately a fairy tale in many ways...it involves the grandmother giving the young granddaughter (on the cusp of becoming a woman) many stories as advice against men worse than wolves b/c they are the kind that "wear their fur on the inside". At any rate ..just a suggestion... and a few things to think of..is this movie truly a horror-flick, or is it something else altogether that defies normal categories we give to films? Or perhaps some fairy tales such as this retelling of Little Red Riding-Hood necessarily become horror when given over to the medium of movie b/c of their gruesome nature.
A few pebbles of thought bandied together rather quickly so excuse the gaps in explanation.
(2/5/04 8:43 pm)
By traditional I meant Grimm and company. There will always be exceptions and obscure sidetracks where the two forms are divergent. The subject matter doesn't always make a difference, just the tone and point of the story. In other words, fairy tales don't have to have dragons, giant killers, wicked stepsisters, and talking animals to be fairy tales. They can have archetypes that take those places. That is what most horror stories have. Some have outright fairy tale archetypes, like "The Tooth Fairy" or "Blair Witch Project."
Company of Wolves is a good example of a horror story masquerading as a fairy tale. So is Little Red Riding Hood, for that matter. Doesn't matter what the academics call them. They are what they are.
(2/8/04 10:38 pm)
this can't be the real jane yolen!!|
OH MY GOSH IS THIS REALLY THE REAL JANE YOLEN AS IN THE AUTHOR OF BRIAR ROSE???!!!!!!!!!! I AM ABSOLUTELY ABSOLUTELY ABSOLUTELY IN AWE!!! MY FRIEND AND I LOVE YOUR BOOK!!! WE'RE BASED IN THE PHILIPPINES AND I BOUGHT YOUR BOOK COZ IT WAS ON SALE AND I LENT IT TO MY FRIEND AND SHE BOUGHT YOUR BOOK AFTERWARDS BECAUSE WE ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT!!!!!! IT'S AN HONOR!!!!!!!!!!!
(2/9/04 5:48 am)
Re: this can't be the real jane yolen!!|
Well, that is certainly a WONDERFUL wake up for a Monday morning! Made my day. (Actually, the brilliant sunrise with the clouds as flushed as a bride's cheek was the initial wake up. Your letter only compounded the day.)
Jane (the only one)
(2/16/04 10:01 pm)
Re: Two more points |
Is there a link to the King article?
(3/30/04 2:36 pm)
if you want to compae fairy tales to horror the most important thing
you need to remember is that the fairy tale genre is almost as diverse
as fiction itself; there is no set format for fairy tales--they
range from short six-line stories to stories that can be more than
50 pages long (Undine, for example, is 60 pages); they range from
the short stories of the brothers grimm (which WERE revised for
children: Kinder und Hausmarchen means children's and household
tales) to the long complex kunstmarchen (literary fairy tales) of
the 19th century german romantics and include everything in between
(say Boadicea and Velleda); there are archtypes for fairy tales
but they often only require that the tale contains certain elements
or patterns and sometimes they blend together, there are some fairy
tales where you can't tell whether you're reading a sleeping beauty
type or a snow white type; each fairy tale is specific to the person
telling it and changes with regard to momentary audience; in addition
to that translations are not word for word translations but tend
to be edited (if you look at a grimm tale translated by one person
and the same tale translated by someone else you'll find differences)
and for the record the grimm tales are not original, nor our they
untouched by the grimms prefrences (in one of the older, non-grimm
versions of sleeping beauty the princess rescues the prince); the
grimms tales were even revised by them a couple of times, in the
first edition of their collection snow white's biological mother
wants to kill her and repunzel and her lover are found out when
her apron won't fit around her waist anymore (later amended to her
naively remarking that the witch is harder to pull up/slower than
the prince); and as far as purpose goes it varied from author to
author, the grimms wanted to create a german identity, fairy tales
were used to support political movements, they were sometimes used
to teach morals, they were sometimes told to either preach religious
values or poke fun at them, and often they were just told for entertainment;
if you want to see a more intresting explanation for the purpose
of fairy tales try "The Witch Within" by Cashdan, it's
got a couple of gaping wholes in the logic of it, but it's intresting;
if you're researching fairy tales your best bet is anything written/edited
by Jack Zipes; and your best online source will be www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts.html
(3/31/04 12:13 pm)
Re: fairytales like horror movies says Stephen King|
I think in order to examine this issue you have to understand S.K. A lot of his horror stories are like a lot of fairy tales in that they try to educate people whilst holding their attention with the promise of saying something shocking. Not all S.K. stories do this and not all fairy tales do this. Certainly most horror flicks don't. However, in the mind of S.K. the correlation is there. Also, in my mind there rests the same notion.
(3/31/04 9:46 pm)
Re: fairytales like horror movies says Stephen King|
It's not hard to find similarities between Fairy Tales and Horror movies. Many Horror films mimic Fairy Tales; although plots and outcomes can vary greatly, there are numerous similarities in certain Fairy Tale characters to Horror film characters. Here are a few brief comparisons to make my point more clear:
"Snow White" (Fairy Tale) - "Lady Bathory" (Horror Movie)
Like the Wicked Queen in "Snow White", the cruel Lady Bathory wanted to be forever beautiful. In her quest to retain her youth, she would secretly have various young girls killed, and then skinned. She would eat their flesh, then bath in their blood; believing that she was gaining their beauty. Perhaps this is what the Queen had in mind when she ate, what she believed to be, Snow White's heart.
"Cinderella" (Fairy Tale) - "Carrie" (Horror Movie)
Carrie is ridiculed and badly mistreated, the Cinderella. Her psychotic mother is the step-mother equivalent. Carrie's cruel classmates are the step-sisters. Miss Collins and Sue Snell both have intentions to help Carrie, like Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Tommy Ross is Prince Charming, offering to take Carrie to the prom in an attempt to lift her spirits, to "rescue" her. The prom is equivalent to the royal ball.
"Hansel and Gretel" (Fairy Tale) - "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Horror Movie)
A group of friends get lost while driving through the back woods of Texas. They come upon a seemingly harmless house, and seeking help, they go inside. Before too long (and before they know it), they are victims of a crazed lunatic who has cannibalistic intentions. Very similar to the brother and sister who get lost in the woods, and become trapped by a cannibalistic witch who dwells inside a tempting Gingerbread house.
These are just a few examples. What do you all think?
(4/1/04 12:21 pm)
Lady Bathory was a real person and the stories about her were circulating before either the grimm's snow white or bluebeard
(4/1/04 1:06 pm)
Lady Bathory was a real person, but she doesn't seem to have really bathed in the blood of young girls in order to maintain her youthful beauty. From what I've read about her, what seems clear is that she was psychotically violent and sadistic and that her crimes were more or less covered up by her fellow aristocrats. She pre-dated the Grimms, but that doesn't mean that she pre-dated the oral tradition, or that representations of her in a post-Grimm culture aren't influenced by the fairy tales.
(4/1/04 5:35 pm)
First, I would like to point out that I'm not talking about the history of Elizabeth Bathory. I'm talking about the movie. After all, we're talking Fairy Tales to Horror movies, not myth to fact.
But since you brought it up, I did research on Lady Bathory last night, and I found many interesting (and gruesome) facts surrounding her. Her sadistic behavior was believed to have originated as a young girl, when she suffered from seizures. Her passion to be forever young and beautiful drove her almost mad. She became fascinated by the occult, and congregated with various "witches" and others while they performed sacrifices and various other unholy rituals. Her famed beauty began to fade when she was in her forties, and she became very jealous whenever she saw beautiful young girls. She developed a hideous temper, and once, when a servant accidentally scratched her scalp while combing her hair, she raked the girl across the cheek with her fingernails. The wound was serious enough for one drop of blood to fall on Bathory's hand. After wiping the drop of blood from her hand, Bathory noticed that the skin where the blood fell appeared vibrant. She believed that she had discovered the "fountain of youth".
It wasn't long before she and others who were associated with the occult searched out young females at night, especially virgins. The kidnapped girls would be taken to various torture chambers. They would be stripped of their clothes, and drained of their blood. Some were hung upside down, and their throats were slit. Others were trapped in cages which hung from the ceiling, and they would be cut with scissors or stabbed with pins. At first, Bathory would stand under the bleeding bodies of the girls', but her taste for beauty and blood grew. Huge vats were placed under the girls as they bled, and then she would bathe in their blood. When especially beautiful girls were found, their blood was drained into cups. She drank the blood, because she believed that she would ingest their beauty by doing so.
Lady Bathory was aided by her "friends" of the occult, and she threatened the local pastor in order to prevent him from speaking of the large number of girls being buried, and so her secret sessions were not detected. Interestingly enough, the dead girls were usually given proper Christian burials. Over time, she noticed that she didn't seem to be retaining her youth. She believed that the blood she was bathing in was "faulty". From this point, whenever she went on various visits throughout the country, she would capture girls who were of high estate, for she supposed that noble blood was better. The same horrific rituals were performed for a time, but eventually Bathory was caught.
The mutilated body of one dead girl was found near the castle, apparently thrown from a window. The girl had been visiting Bathory's estate. Once the body was identified, a search began. Before long, the pieces were all placed together, and Bathory's private torture chambers were discovered. The naked bodies of various young girls hung from the walls and ceilings, some dead and some still alive. Bathory did not plead innocent nor guilty, and she didn't even show up at her sentencing. At that time, it was against government policy to execute rulers. So Bathory was sentenced to house arrest, and she was locked in a small room in a tower. There was no window, except for a small opening in the wall through which food could be passed. Bathory had no communication with human life through her imprisonment, and she died four years later. It is believed that over 600 girls were killed.
I'm not claiming to be a history expert, but I found what I believe
to be a reliable source at : bathory.org/shyla.html
Sorry if anyone lost their lunch after reading this.
(4/2/04 11:37 am)
the only reason i mentioned bathory being a real person and predating the grimms was to point out that the stories about her might have inspired certain aspects in some other tales (i don't know anything about the movie, i just assumed it was about her); i thought that if stories about bathory inspired parts of those tales it would make sense for a movie about her to have things in common with those tales; sorry i wasnt clear