Having spent so much time researching, thinking and writing (well, considerably less time writing) about folklore in the historical sense, I find myself overlooking the fact that folklore is alive and well today. Settings and motifs may change, along with narrative conventions and methods of transmission, but we’ve never stopped creating and telling these tales. I don’t […]
Don’t let the title of this tale fool you. It may be called “Handsome Paul,” but Paul is, at best, the co-star of this show. He’d be nowhere without a certain princess, who shall remain nameless for the simple reason that she has no name. To be fair, the rest of her family is also […]
As promised, I’m returning to the tales I introduced in my last post, starting with the story of Hermod and Hadvor. Specifically, the part where Hadvor gets buried alive, and the historical/cultural precedents for this.
I hate to knock the less showy forms of strength and bravery–of course there is bravery in patience and endurance in the face of hardship.
But it gets damned depressing to read about that brand of bravery. You start to want the heroine to do something. To draw blood, to speak up, to take the initiative, to take something for herself.
You start to wonder:
Where are the Badass Women?
In the category of “tales in which a wicked stepmother kills her stepchild and feeds it to the father, after which the child usually comes back as a bird for revenge,” we have several examples…
In my previous post, I covered two of the more disturbing stories about brothers who are turned into birds, “The Twelve Wild Geese” and “The Twelve Wild Ducks.” Those two tales get points for blood and wickedness, but I just can’t get behind Snow-White-and-Rose-Red as a character, partly because her name is ridiculous, and partly […]