Saturday, August 18, 2012

So Many Stories


I was recently looking through that long-ago, dusty relic of my undergrad days, my honors thesis. (As a side note, might I mention how strange it was to read “Mason” in the upper-right corner as the author? It felt like I was reading pages written by someone else.) This idea, of the many I referenced, stuck out at me:

“There is no one true version [of a tale] of which all others are but copies or distortions. Every version belongs to the myth.”  —Claude Lévi-Strauss

Here is another thing I love about fairy tales. Every version tells something different.

A few favorites of mine:

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine (emphatically not like the movie—approximately four gajillion times better)

Beauty, by Robin McKinley

Storyteller’s Daughter and Beauty Sleep, by Cameron Dokey

The Rumpelstilskin Problem, by Vivian Vande Velde

Rapunzel’s Revenge and Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

Tiffany Aching series, by Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight)*

What are your favorites?

*Okay, I cheated here. The Tiffany Aching books aren’t fairy tales. But I think they merited a mention anyway. So there.

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