In the process of writing the last few posts, I find my mind returning again and again to “The Story of Mr. Fox” and “The Sweetheart in the Wood,” unconsciously conflating some details, and wondering: What made her take that severed hand, when she herself was in mortal danger? What was it like, to walk home alone through the forest carrying that lump of flesh? Where was it kept between then and the dinner party? And this is what came of those wonderings.
Click here to read Part 2: “Stubborn Bloodstains and Magic Cats” My previous post introduced the “tell-tales” of guilt that appear in ATU tale types 311, 312 and 955. I focused on unwashable bloodstains that revealed wives’ trespasses in the forbidden bloody chamber. In contrast, the tell-tale object in “The Robber Bridegroom” is a severed hand […]
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 […]
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?