Lately, I’ve been thinking about fairy tales.
There was a fantastic panel at Swancon – with Ellen Datlow, Richard Harland, Jenny Blackford, Amanda Pillar, and Brain (aka Angela Slatter) – in which the panelists were kicking around many ideas about fairy tales: the evolution of the form; classics and modern retellings; questioning the theory that these tales are intended to be cautionary. This last point got me thinking about the lessons such narratives were supposed to impart, and to whom they were meant to be addressed. I asked a question of the panel about the irony of women’s roles in these stories, but since my thoughts weren’t fully formed on the matter I couldn’t articulate what I meant clearly – not to mention the fact that it was getting on in the day, I hadn’t consumed nearly enough coffee, and I’d spent all my energies being articulate on the Steampunk panel immediately before the fairy tale session. So I began a train of thought, but it was not quite resolved that day.
And an amusing and appropriate cartoon from Dave Gauld via Rob O’Connor: