Folktales & Funnies

Fairy tales have intrigued me due to the fact that they’re aimed at children yet carry very adult themes. If you’ve read Grimm’s you know that they almost always end in the maiming or death of someone.  I find the fairy tale/folk tale genre is a short lefolksson that older generations pass on to the younger one.  It’s dramatic enough to capture the young imagination, the lesson is clear enough, and there’s just enough fear to keep the young ones on the right path.  Since I started reading them as an adult and looking at their structure and artistry, I’ve noticed that we don’t still use this style of imparting wisdom to young ones.  You might say Disney, but isn’t Disney just repackaging previous folktales?  I might argue that Pixar would be a good example of how our folktales have become kids’ films.

You can’t argue with the lessons of folktales, but we could debate their method. The “Little Lit: Folktales & Funny” collection of tales is a graphic novelized versions of classic fairy tales, but with alternate endings or comedic changes to their plot. I didn’t feel like the overall message was different, but I thought that the comedy didn’t make the tale have such a gothic flavor to it. As an adult, the comedy even seemed aimed more for me than the kids. “Little Lit” is an anthology of authors including Art Spiegelman. Each of their unique storytelling and drawings kept the tales fresh and unique. It’s a quick enjoyable read.

The Eyre Affair

One of the good things about joining a book club at my local library is that I am exposed to books that I wouldn’t normally choose.  And since it’s run by the library, most of the selections are legit.  In this case, I was shocked to find we were reading a book I had never heard of.  The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde was a very different read for me. Time travel, alternate history, and alternate literary endings are not usually all teyrehrown into the books I read.

At first it was overwhelming to adjust to this England that is and isn’t the current England. You soon realize that something happened in the distant past that has influence events so that the 1980’s are nothing recognizable to what we know. At first I thought this was going to be a satirical look at the downfalls of our culture, but it was more subtle than that.  It made me want to read further to figure what had happened in the past to alter the future.  It’s not really explained in this tome, but it faded to the background by the end of the novel.

Then there’s the fact that some people are able to move from our world into the world of a book, like “Jane Eyre.” This is what captures my attention because who doesn’t wish there was a way to immerse yourself into the world of your favorite book and interact with the characters and setting as if they were real. We soon realize there’s consequences to interfering with the book-world because it changes the plot and ending of novels. I’m really tempted to check out the rest of this series.