Posts Tagged ‘fairytale’

14th April
2010
written by Steph

In my first year of university, I took a humanities seminar called “The Monstrous Imagination”, which looked at monsters and the grotesque in literature throughout history, and how these reflected the mores of the time.  It was a lot of fun, and exposed me to the concept of the historical monster, reading things like The Malleus Maleficarum and Dante’s Inferno. We also read Angela Carter’s short story “The Lady of the House of Love”, which was Carter’s macabre interpretation of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. After reading it, we were meant to take a fairytale of our own and make it monstrous in a similar fashion.  That was my first exposure to Carter, and it definitely made a strong impression.  In my mind, Carter was a dark writer who enjoyed perverting the conventional, and whose writings were deeply sexual. This month, Claire over at Paperback Reader is hosting Angela Carter month, a month in which she encourages us to explore Carter’s writings and discuss her favourite author.  A few years ago, I picked up a copy of Wise Children at McKay’s, and Claire’s gentle encouragement proved to be the push I needed to finally read Carter’s homage to Shakespeare’s stage. (more…)
27th May
2009
written by Steph
Wonder no more!  Read it!

Wonder no more! Read it!

I’m a bit bummed that this long weekend was graced with gray skies and intermittent rainstorms rather than lolling about by the pool and using the grill, but dreary days can have their perks!  Sunday afternoon, I plucked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from the shelf as I’d never read it before and proceeded to read the whole thing through OUT LOUD to Tony as we lazed on the couch.  I don’t know why it took me 26 years to get to this book, because it was so much fun.  For some reason I had built up in my mind the belief that Carroll’s language was rather cumbersome and confusing (I know I tried to read the story when I was younger but could never get past the first few pages), but this time round I simply found it delightful.  I knew the guy had a penchant for poetry, but I didn’t know he had such a fondness for puns (boo to all of those people who say puns are the lowest form of wit and humor – I love them!).  I was particularly amused by Alice’s dialogues with the Hatter and with the Mock Turtle and Gryphon, and the trial at the end was really very funny as well.  There was a good deal of snickering on both Tony’s and my part as I read through this book.
Poor Bill!

Poor Bill!

The story was at times manic and completely absurd (I can’t help but feel that kids might find it confusing at times, but what do I know?), but I thought it had a lot of charm and really appreciated it’s playful spirit.  I loved Carroll’s approach to the English language as well as how sprightly all of the characters are.  The copy I read was a hardback, annotated version (complete with lovely illustrations), but I read the story straight through without pausing over the footnotes and asides.  I know I’ll definitely re-read this story in the future, and look forward to spending some time poring over the details and trivia that might allow for a richer second read through.  My volume also contains Through The Looking Glass (which Tony tells me is far weirder), which I will read when I feel I need a dollop of nonsense to cleanse my reading palate.  I highly recommend this lovely little romp to anyone looking for a smart, diverting read. Rating: 4.5 out of 5