“Instantly he seized her hand and held her fast but in her struggles to get free the fur mantle opened and the star-glittering dress was plainly seen. The King caught the mantle and tore it off, and as he did so her golden hair fell over her shoulders and she stood before him in her full splendor, and felt that she could no longer conceal who she was.”—The Princess in Disguise, Grimm Brothers
“For all their rich variety, fairy tales have a remarkably stable—and therefore predictable—structure. “A girl is in the wood,” Roger Sale writes. “Give her a brother and one has ‘Hansel and Gretel,’ give her many brothers and sisters and one has ‘Hop o’ My thumb,’ send the girl to dwarves and one has ‘Snow White,’ to bears and one has ‘Goldilocks,’ to grandmother and one has ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ It may not be as simple as that, but any avid reader of fairy tales will recognize that Sale’s observations ring true after a fashion.”—
Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales
“Folklorists are quick to point out that fairy tales were never really meant for children’s ears alone. Originally told at fireside gatherings or in spinning circles by adults to adult audiences, fairy tales joined the canon of children’s literature (which is itself of recent vintage) only in the last two to three centuries. Yet the hold these stories have on the imagination of children is so compelling that it becomes difficult to conceive of childhood without them.”—Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales
One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food. “Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?” asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared into the wood.
When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother’s house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.
(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)
Really interesting thoughts on how technology today compares to magic. Some quotes below:
I had a whole conversation with a friend on Twitter about a year ago, talking about how our use of the internet in particular could very well be seen as magic. Heck, we even tap into grounding magics and unseen forces (electricity, wi-fi, digital signals) by using various gateways (you need power cords or stored power, a computer and the knowledge to make the computer do what you want it to), use a ritual (plug in, turn on, software load), add an access spell (password typing, often while using phrases such as “come one, come on, come on!”) to gain access to the unseen world (the internet) and our effectiveness in doing whatever it is we’re wanting to do (online) being limited to how powerful in magic we are or how much power we’ve paid for (computer/internet knowledge, levels of access, pay our bills), our magical training (knowledge of navigation and software use), if the magic is stable and accessible that day or season (server connection and function) etc… There are even - if you look closely - a whole set of superstitions about the use and handling of computers, internet navigation and sites. And a virus could easily be seen as a curse in the most basic sense.
Once I started looking around (on the internet of course!) I found many, many instances of people virtually saying the same thing. Check out these links HERE, HERE, a more in-depth look at the ideas HERE (though I would have to add that I think there have always been magical practitioners who are interested in “taking the black box apart” and it’s not just scientists who do that) and a more sci-fi vs fantasy take HERE.
We live in a magical time of everyday miracles - all of which we usually take for granted. We shouldn’t. Especially now where we’ve reached the wireless age and it wouldn’t take much for our entire way of life to be wiped out.
“One of my heroes, G.K. Chesterton, said, “The old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy; it is his adventures that are startling; they startle him because he is normal.” Discovering that the modern world can still contain the wonder and strangeness of a fairy tale is part of what my novels are about.”— Regina Doman (via fairytalescrapbook)