Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Orange Tree and The Bee, The Fae and Today

            To me, the perfect fairy tale includes the full spectrum of emotions: it makes you fall in love with the heroes, hate the villains, laugh at the trickery, and cry at the tragedies.  It has a little bit of everything and makes the reader become sufficiently caught up in the story to let loose and feel those emotions.  The Orange Tree and the Bee (or at least the version I’ve read by Marie-Catherine D'Aulnoy) smoothly balances adventure, horror, comedy, and romance.  The fantastical element of ogres, fairies, and magic allows for entertainment while still dealing with the complexities of love, jealousy, and equality.  The hero has his chance to rescue the long-lost princess, but she uses her knowledge to save him.  They need to continuously work together through several obstacles to return home and their love only grows.  You may call me a simple hopeless romantic, but I believe this story offers something that many others do not.  There is no single “savior” of the tale nor do the solutions to their problems simply fall in their lap.  It takes more than a magic wand to save them – it requires their human element as well.  While maybe a little silly, it allows for the hope that humans can achieve such preposterous and unbelievable things in a world not known for its magic.
            That ties into why I chose this course.  Fairy tales are a source of inspiration to not only dream, but to do so on a ridiculously grand scale.  Ever since I was little, I have read everything I could get my hands on.  Every fantasy, sci-fi, mystery or fiction book, the list goes on and on.  They meant the world to me and helped keep me looking forward during the difficult times in life.  While that may sound cliché, I was inspired by them and I wanted to spend my life trying to help others in a similar way - to give others that basic idea of hope
.  I can do that through writing inspiring novels, but many good fiction novels of today start with basic magic.  Hope does not necessarily mean that everything works out in the end.  Many fairy tales are amazing for demonstrating the importance of the symbiotic relationship between despair and elation.  Also, the beauty of the magical world is that the author has complete control over the rules.  For instance, there are hundreds of different types of vampires, each just as acceptable as the next.  The fae are creatures of the impossible, which is why they are perfect to deliver inspiration.  But in order to do that, I first wanted to become well-versed in the fae and creatures that already existed, which is why this course appealed to me.  It provides a great opportunity for me to learn many of the original traditions in this genre and to learn from some of the best authors who wrote for it.  My hope is gain as much knowledge on the subject, both of the stories themselves and what is behind them.  After all, my “grand dream" is to follow in their footsteps.