Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Happily Ever After...i.e. last blog post

Despite ignoring conventional rules of writing, I'm going to start off with a personal side note. As interesting as "regular" fairy tales were/are to me, my excitement for this class was truly peaked when I went to the bookstore at the beginning of the semester and bought a comic book for this class. Chalk it up to the inner-nerd in me. Even though I was soon disappointed that we weren't going to read it until the last week of class, I now understand why; reading it at the beginning of the semester would have detracted from all of the implications and inside jokes within "Fables." It would be like having a friend introduce you to a TV show by having you watch the season finale. Sure you get the premise and it would keep your attention, but it wouldn't be the full experience.

Anyway...I'm going to take the alternative point of view that most in our discussion group have taken regarding whether or not "Fables" is a fairy tale. In other words, I'm going to argue that it is. While satire looms around the corner of every panel, the fairy tale characters that we all know are still a part of a magical realm despite being stuck in the mundane one in the first volume. And despite the lack of regularly occurring magic, transformations, and outlandish fantasy, there is still enough of it within the storyline to keep our attention (at least mine, but then again, throw a book that is primarily colorful pictures rather than words and you've got me). Isn't that what fairy tales are all about? Some combination of wonder and fantasy that is grounded just enough to make it comprehensible if not believable? I'm not saying that I took stories like "The Juniper Tree" as fact, but the story was structured to make the reader believe that the gruesome murder and resurrection of the child was orthodox enough that if the family could respond to this by finishing their meal, then we as the audience could accept this and share it with a future audience. I believe "Fables" falls along these same lines. Sure the characters may be a bit too magically restrained and sexually crass for our expectations, but this class has shown that most fairy tales have undergone serious revisions in order to accommodate for the audience of the given time period. Do I prefer all the fairy tale characters redesigned this way? Not really. Did it entertain me? I'd say it did. Would I consider this a fairy tale? Sure, why not?

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I follow you... Based on my own posting, I would actually agree with you that "Fables" probably is a fairy tale. There are two particular points in your posting that I want to highlight:

    1.) Regarding "The Juniper Tree," you say, "...But the story was structured to make the reader believe that the gruesome murder and resurrection of the child was orthodox enough..." Isn't that the same case as Rose Red's own "murder and resurrection"? (Granted, she was never really dead, but the layout of the story appears as though she was murdered and then "returns from the dead").

    2.) And more importantly, you conclude with: "Sure, why not?" If I could have concluded my own blog posting in three words, it would have been these, too. I agree that to define "Fables" as a fairy tale requires the same flexibility as the definitions placed on the kunstmarchen as fairy tales. If we take the kunstmarchen as fairy tales, then "Fables" - with similar characteristics - probably is one too, by default.