Fairy Tale Friday Reborn!
It’s back! Launching this very week, Fairy Tale Friday is now a weekly meme hosted by us here at Literary Transgressions and Books4Learning. Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and/or share a related blog post.
You can participate on your blog in several different ways:
1. Join in the weekly theme (when offered) by writing about some aspect of it or sharing a related story.
2. Share a favorite or recently read myth, legend, or fairy tale book—fractured, traditional, or modern.
3. Deconstruct fairy tales in general or a particular one.
4. Unearth a “forgotten” myth, legend, or fairy tale and write about it.
Rewrite a traditional tale or share your own original myth, legend, or fairy tale.
Whatever you chose to post about, make sure to link your post up to the weekly Fairy Tale Friday Round-up (alternating between Books4Learning and us) and add the Fairy Tale Friday badge (above).
So, in celebration of this exciting new start to our long-running Fairy Tale Friday series, I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate contemporary fairy tales.
I’m talking about the fae stories invented in the last twenty years or so by authors like Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke. Fairy tales are so often considered an antiquated form, all of them already written and out there, but I love that there are still authors writing new ones!
There are many to be praised in this manner, but just to cite two instances: First, both Clarke and Gaiman have a unique talent for insinuating themselves and their new stories seamlessly into older traditions. Gaiman’s Stardust could just as easily have been written by Lord Dunsany and Clarke’s man with the thistledown hair fits perfectly in with the early modern notions of fairies and the dangers of associating with them. It’s a skill I’ve remarked on before, but it’s just too wonderful not to mention again.
Secondly, they are simultaneously gifted with the ability to create something entirely new, without necessary reference to the canon. I read one of Gaiman’s short story collections this past fall and was blown away by his apparently unending font of creativity, particularly when it comes to magical stories. (My favorite—and possibly my favorite short story of all time—had to be “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire,” which is more slipping into Gothic territory, but has that sort of otherworldly flare to it.)
And a post talking about contemporary fairy tales wouldn’t be complete without a mention of The Girl with Glass Feet. As I’ve previously written about it, the book somehow combines the feeling of a modern novel with the swirling mystery of old fairy tales. It’s a queer feeling reading it and you come away rather wowed by the experience.
Fairy tales are one of my favorite genre and it warms the cockles of my little Fae-loving heart that the genre has not been consigned to the “classics only” bin quite yet. It’s such an enduring form that I like to think we can count on authors to continue finding inspiration in its tropes, tone, and themes for years to come. At least I hope so.