"In fairy tales the author (authors) does not strive to represent a more real world that exists beyond its pages, but strives to create new worlds. To create sense. To create logic, as well as illogic. To create time and space, not to reflect it. To create possibility. To create life in its becoming."In an essay titled "Fairy Tale is Form, " Bernheimer introduces the reader to four formal components of fairy tales: flatness, abstraction, intuitive logic and normalized magic. You may find some of these components in more recent writings but, says Bernheimer, "the first thing you always know about a fairy tale is that you are in it. Immediately it announces that it is a form and that you are inside the form."
The second story I read was titled "Goldilocks; or The Three Bears" which was the traditional story of Goldilocks with which we are all familiar. What was most interesting to me was that there was a second story in the book called "The Story of Pretty Goldilocks." Until I read this book with my children, I'd never heard of this story. It's the story of a beautiful princess who is the object of a certain king's desire. When she turns down his first emissary, he sends another named "Charming." The princess sets many task for Charming but I think you can already guess where this tale is going when it features a princess and a man named Charming!
Next week, Tim Shaffert's story "The Mermaid In The Tree," which takes as it's inspiration Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." Oh, and you all know how much I love Unbridled Books; imagine how excited I was to find Shaffert's books in their catalog. I'll soon be reading his book "The Coffins of Little Hope." Also next week, more on fairy tales from Kate Bernheimer.