Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Rats of Nimh (or Our Adventures Underground) ...

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Our adventures underground continue today as our floors are sanded, stained, and refinished ... in the entire upstairs. This involved moving everything out of the top two floors of our house ... everything. Considering we just moved into the house in August and lived for a month in the basement, it now seems incredibly stupid to me that we moved everything upstairs only to have to move it back out again. C'est la vie; you live and you learn.

Being underground again, I've been thinking about the Rats of Nimh (The Secret of NIMH). This book/film scared the bejesus out of me when I was a little kid. I really hated it. The rats with the glowing yellow eyes and the long tapering fingers were particularly terrifying. I don't really know why, then, I found this film so alarming. Worth a new view, yes? (NIMH stands for National Institutes of Mental Health, by the by, from which the rats, now possessing human intelligence, have escaped.)


I think I might like it as a grown-up. Good thing I'll have a lot of extra time on my hands sitting in the basement over the next few days. ~Alice

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Go Google Yourself...

Admit it. At some point, you've looked yourself up on the internet. (If you haven't, you should; you never know what kind of crazy stuff is going to pop up). My non-Alice online profile tends to be rather boring, to be perfectly honest. My university page, Facebook and twitter accounts, etc. pop up, along with my "ratemyprofessors" profile (a thoroughly cringe-worthy experience, if you want to try it, is reading about yourself through the eyes of your students). But I also have an alter-ego, a doppelganger, a double.

My double is also a blogger (she runs a blog called Tiptoe with Little Hooves). She also has bangs. She's into the Gothic/macabre. And she's a damn fine artist.

"Winter's Owl" Via "The Art of Jessica McCourt"
I've always been interested in the theme of the Doppelganger. The idea that there could be another person walking around in the world as a "paranormal double of a living person" (Thanks, wikipedia). I wonder if she's ever looked herself up and found me staring back at her, like we are living on two sides of the looking-glass, experiencing alternate realities that quiver in their reflection of one another.

Either way, check out her blog. Her stuff is really cool. ~Alice (you always knew that wasn't my real name, right;?)

"Sophie" Via "The Art of Jessica McCourt"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Opening Pandora's Box ...

In my travels over the lanes of various children's books this year, I've been noticing how many of them rely on the theme of Pandora's box. The idea that one little misstep by one little individual can wreak havoc far and wide. Coraline opening the little door between her flat and the Other Mother's World. Alice and her key/looking-glass. Bluebeard's wife. Little Red Riding Hood. Tom Riddle's diary. Curiosity sometimes kills the cat. Sometimes it makes him/her stronger.

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Pandora's story is much like that of Eve and her apple. Pandora, supposedly the first woman on Earth, was gifted to a man, Epimetheus, as his wife by Zeus, who was craftily thinking of a way to get even with Prometheus (Epimetheus's brother) for giving fire to humans without asking his permission. Pandora came with a box, a box with a heavy lid and a lock containing sickness, disease, hate, envy, you name it.  Pandora is cautioned to never open this box - and we all know what happens when people are told not to do something. Her natural curiosity wins out, she lifts the lid, and lets loose upon the world the terrors contained within. But, here's the kicker, Zeus knew all along that she would lift the lid. And, along with these evils, the box contains a little thing called hope, which flies out into the world.
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In each children's book that contains this theme, and there are many, the book itself becomes a kind of Pandora's Box, a tome that, once opened, looses obstacles and frights on the child's imagination. The book itself is a sort of haunted house, full of booby-trapped stairs, doors, and locks. And at the bottom of every book lies hope, a curious little bug that has just as much power as all of the evil in the world.

" Hope, ... which whispered from Pandora's box after all the other plagues and sorrows had escaped, is the best and last of all things. Without it, there is only time" (Ian Caldwell, The Rule of Four). Until tomorrow. ~Alice  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beware the Jabberwock, my son...

Perhaps this is where it all began. Yes, I think perhaps. 

Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves 
And the mome raths outgrabe.  


And now I must go gallumphing off to class. Oh frabjous day. ~Alice

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bohemian Rhapsody ... Muppet Style

Because it's Friday and we all probably need a laugh, here's a little ditty from the Muppets. Rock n' roll. ~Alice


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bad Mommy ... [AHS Review]

Lana Banana. I'm glad you were the last woman standing. I'm glad you were a survivor, even if that meant killing your only son in order to save yourself and the world from his menace. I'm glad you weren't a weakling. What I'm not happy about is the lasting message of your story arc that puts women back in their place, that suggests if a raped woman (one raped by a serial killer, no less) does not choose to raise the product of that violence with loving arms she is a bad mommy, a failure to humanity ... unnatural. Furthermore, if you are a "nosy," ambitious woman, you get what you deserve. Be prepared, Lana Banana. If you look into the face of evil, it will look back.

 
For a supposedly avant-garde show, American Horror, this season you were rather preachy. And a great equivocator, talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand, you have old Judy giving little alien girl the advice that she can be anything she wants (because it's 1971 now, you know). On the other, you have Lana telling Johnny, "It's not your fault you're a crazed psychopathic Daddy's boy; it's mine." Superb acting, yes, but a disappointment when it comes to pushing the boundaries. Just like many a horror film that kills off those pesky teenagers for getting a little out of control, American Horror has mainly been interested in maintaining the status quo (think of the season-ending shot last year with the ghostly family surrounding the Christmas tree, the nuclear family saved by the mayhem of the Murder House).

I'll be back next season. And I hope some of the great actors in this season's offering will be as well. But can we please tread some new ground and cut the neo-conservative smarmy bs?

Oh, yeah, and what the frig was up with the aliens? I still don't get it. ~Alice

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Allure of the Wolf ...

We all know this story. Tale as old as time, song as old as wine, Beauty and the Beast. Beautiful girl falls in love with beastly dude after discovering the heart of gold under his savage exterior. The bad boy tamed by his desire for that one special girl, the one who turns his world upside down, the one he can't live without.

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Just like millions of girls before and after, when I was growing up, I really, really, really liked bad boys. I didn't want the wolf in sheep's clothing. I wanted the wolf himself. Christian Slater in Heathers, River Phoenix in Stand By Me, Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys; hell, Kenickie from Grease was my favorite of them all ("Hey, cheer up .... A hickey from Kenickie's like a Hallmark card").

Tough, sly, virile, sexy, often funny. Misunderstood, baby. I always hoped that underneath all that bravado there was a good guy. Sometimes there was, sometimes there wasn't. I'm still a sucker for this "type" (Alcide in True Blood really floats my boat).

I find this film, now, utterly disturbing; when I was 15, I didn't. Why didn't I?

How many of us females have been taken in by this narrative, only to discover that, usually, under the savage exterior lies ... savagery. The allure of the wolf is the idea that a girl can tame his animalistic side, that his savagery is reserved for those who deserve it, that if he is rough with the girl it's only because he loves her so much. How twisted and demented is such a love. Jason Dean, after all, is just a really bad dude. He may want Veronica, but his desire for her turns her into a pretty evil thing herself (As Nikita Khrushchev supposedly once said, "If you live among wolves, you have to act like a wolf").

Most of the time, a wolf is just a wolf. The sooner a girl learns that the better.


Here's hoping you keep the wolf from your door. ~Alice


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fantasia (Please, dear House, clean yourself)...

Because I would like my house to be able to pick up and clean itself today, I give you this scene from Fantasia. Come on, fellow moms (and clean-freak Dads ... do you really exist??), wouldn't you love it if the broom and the vacuum just got up and did their work on their own?


I've got some lazy-ass brooms in this house. ~Alice

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Tale Dark and Grimm ...

I've been spending a lot of time in the Schwartzwald of late (a.k.a. the dark forest where all the nasties live). Last week, in my Imaginative Literature course, I taught Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, which I've covered elsewhere on the blog (see this post on my five favorite scary books).

Last night, put in the right mood by Carter, I picked up Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm, a book that also looks at the Grimms through a glass darkly. But this book is meant for young people. And they should beware. Entering this book leaves dark trails on your thoughts. The seeds of the stories sprouted in the shadowy corners of my room late last night, making the old piece of driftwood hanging on my wall look rather like an old crone's claw (yikes).

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Gidwitz's tribute to the Grimm Brothers is a rather rollicking affair, a sinister, tongue-in-cheek storyteller walking the reader through the funhouse of Grimm's tales. Carnivalesque in its violence, A Tale Dark and Grimm is rather grim for a young reader (I'd say the best age group for this outing is ages 10-14). Any younger, and they might be afraid to go to bed because a Mama-like figure could be crawling out of the walls.

Like the film Mama currently in theaters, this book centers on two small children who find themselves lost in the Schwartzwald (riffing on the plot of "Hansel and Gretel"; by the by, Guillermo del Toro, of Pan's Labyrinth fame, was executive producer on Mama, suggesting that the film will be rife with the aesthetic of dark fairy-tale revision).  The revisions of the tales from the children's perspective are utterly unsettling. In the revision of "Hansel and Gretel" itself, for example, the "witch" is not a witch at all, but an old baker woman who has developed a taste for children's flesh after accidentally "tasting" her offspring during that age-old mommy game of "you are soooo cute, I could eat you right up" (num ... num ... num). Ewwww...

I highly recommend this book if you are a twisted reader like myself, if you enjoy someone taking something you love dearly, tearing it to shreds, and making a crazy-quilt of a book out of what's leftover. Gidwitz nails the tone that makes the tales of the Grimms and Perrault so appealing in the first place. His book is darkly poetic, provocative, and true. To put it in Gidwitz's words, "In the darkest zones, one finds the brightest beauty, the most luminous wisdom... And the most blood." Until tomorrow. ~Alice




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow...

In our neck of the woods, we are getting ready to enter the deep freeze, a cold snap (i.e. it is going to be too damned cold to do much of anything outdoors; I still don't know how those crazy people in Minnesota and North Dakota do it). A good time to snuggle in around the fireplace with some books, drink some hot chocolate, and call it a day.

Here are a few of my cold-weather favorites:

My oldest absolutely adored this book, produced exclusively for the Gap around 2005. It was the first book that she learned to pretend read:). The pages are very welcoming for little hands (each page is covered with one illustrated word or phrase; i.e. "Sparkly trees." The glittering trees, rising up off the page, just ask to be touched). Some copies are still available on ebay
The wonder and excitement of new-fallen snow is captured beautifully by Keats in this vibrant book. Via
A book as fun as coasting downhill on some well-packed snow, without the effort of having to walk back up the hill.
Via
And for the older crowd, who can resist the frozen tundra of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When I think of this book, the first thing that comes to mind is the crystalline landscape, the ground and pines muffled in a blanket of snow that silences the footsteps of the child who ventures within. Via  
Stay warm (or as we like to call it in the Alice house, "comfycozy"). ~Alice

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Secret Garden ...

I've been sick the last two days (damned flu, begone), so I decided, what better time to start re-reading The Secret Garden (the novel does start with a cholera outbreak, after all).

Via
Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911) traces the story of a pettish young girl, Mary Lennox, as she travels to London from India after being orphaned in a cholera epidemic which took the lives of both of her parents. She settles in her uncle's mansion, Misselthwaite Manor, a "haunted" space with many surprises.

A fun book to read if you are convalescing. Like me. Which sucks, by the way. ~Alice

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My girl, my girl, don't lie to me...

I'm in a rather grungy mood today. When I get this melancholic, I put on music that takes me back, back to riding in the back of a friend's pick-up truck, smoking menthol cigarettes, bare feet, nothing on my brain besides finding the next party, having a good time, and not getting caught. 1995.  Flannel shirts and Stone Temple Pilots.  Docs, Boone's Farm, and torn jeans. I didn't realize how good they were until they were gone.

My favorite of them all:


Until tomorrow. ~Alice (in Chains)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baba Yaga (Grandmas, Babushkas, and Chicken Legs) ...

When I was growing up, in a little patch-town in southwestern Pennsylvania heavily populated by Eastern European immigrants, a Baba Yaga was an ugly, mean old woman, most likely wearing a babushka, who would hit you with her broom if you messed up anything in her yard, got too close to her house, made too much noise, etc. etc. Only when I got older and started researching the fairy-tale tradition did I learn that Baba Yaga was not merely a term of endearment for these lovely women, but a character straight out of Russian/Slavic folklore.

See, Baba Yaga is an aged crone who lives in a little hut in the woods that stands on chicken legs:

As they rode through the forest he looked around and saw a little hut standing on chicken legs. And the peasant said, "Little hut, little hut! Stand with your back to the forest, and your front facing me." And the little hut turned around. 


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Here's the thing about Baba Yaga that I like: she can help or hinder, aid you or break you, depending on your virtue and your valor. One girl ends up with riches beyond imagination, another winds up a bunch of bones rattling in a box. You've got to be careful around Baba Yaga. She reminds me so of the mindset of women like my grandmother, who loved her brood dearly, but would call out "Buja's gonna get you" or "You're gonna get kudutz" (which I've been told translate roughly to "God is going to get you" and "You're going to get yours one day") when one of us made her really mad. The woman would make you tomatoes slathered with mayonnaise and then the next minute be chasing you out of her kitchen with her broom.

Via
Via

One more thing I had to share with you today. I came across this picture this morning that I took while we were house-hunting last year. Who keeps this on their front porch to welcome prospective home-buyers? What were these people thinking?

Because demonic molding baby doll in a high chair just screams, "Buy me!! Good vibes here."
Happy Tuesday!! ~Alice

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Stinky Cheese Man...

On a family excursion to Burgatory last night (if you have one of these restaurants near you, go. Go now. Seriously), we had an hour to kill while we waited for a table, which, for this family (at least for three of us anyway), meant a trip to the nearby Half-Price Books. $25.00 later, we walked out with Jon Scieszka's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and another book of his about the Frog Prince, Poems for Girls, two Junie B. Jones books, and a book on the history of farting (OK, we really didn't buy that one, but it was for sale, which produced an onslaught of giggles from my eight-year-old). Since we returned home last night at 8:00, The Stinky Cheese Man has been read four times.

My husband, I shall call him The Dude, says that almost every book he reads turns out this way: it starts out with words and turns into "blah, blah, blah." This shows you what I must deal with on a daily basis. 
My eight-year-old seriously loves this book, and I can see why. The images are enticingly odd; the off-color humor is off-color enough to make kids think they might be doing something wrong by reading its tales, which in my opinion enhances the adventure of it. Tales include "Chicken Licken," "The Really Ugly Duckling," "The Tortoise and the Hair," "Cinderumpelstiltskin," "Little Red Running Shorts," "Jack's Bean Problem," and a few more distortions of old tales along the way (these tales are the literary equivalent of taking a marker and drawing all over the faces of one's fussy ancestors in the old family portrait in the hallway).

Consider this page, which describes the fate of the Ugly Duckling:

So cruel, but so very hilarious. 
Or this one, from "The Princess and the Bowling Ball":

If you ask me, Lane Smith (the illustrator)
was going for a "Sun, Moon, and Talia" look here for the Princess. Necrophilic chic. 
If you don't have this book, and you have kids between the ages of 5-10, you must get it. You'll laugh at it yourself. Which represents the majority of the fun;). ~Alice

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mad as a hatter...

"Mad as a Hatter" Drawing by Cameron Brewer


You're as mad as a hatter. In Wednesday night's American Horror, Monsignor Timothy uttered this famed phrase, making this Alice in Wonderland/American Horror aficionado a very happy girl. It's the little things in life.

As we all know, if you are on the receiving end of this phrase, the person calling you thus is implying that you are crazier than hell, off your rocker, not operating with a full deck - that you, in short, have lost a few marbles. The phrase is said to come from a variety of sources: the fact that hatters/milliners were often exposed to high levels of mercury in the manufacturing process (resulting in Mad Hatters), the verb "hatter" (which mean to harass or weary), or, as A Dictionary of Common Fallacies (1980) notes, the fact that, once upon a time, "'mad' meant 'venomous' and 'hatter' is a corruption of 'adder', or viper, so that the phrase 'mad as an atter' originally meant 'as venomous as a viper'."

My favorite Mad Hatter is, of course, this one.

No wonder Tom Petty decided to be the Mad Hatter in that crazy video. He looks just like him.
And he says things of this sort (which is why I love him so):
Mad Hatter: "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?
"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
"No, I give it up," Alice replied. "What's the answer?"
"I haven't the slightest idea," said the Hatter.
By the by, today's word of the day in the OED (or the Oxford English Dictionary for all of you lucky people who move outside of academia) is "Pyschopomp": (Noun) "A mythical conductor or guide of souls to the place of the dead." The adverbial version of the term can be used thus: "1908: R. Brooke Let. 8 Jan. (1968) 121. 'I, Hermes-like, am coming to fetch you psychopompically to Hell.'" Pyschopompically. What an awesome word.  Enjoy your weekend!~Alice

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Q&A a Day: 365 Questions ...

For many years now, I have tried to keep a journal. Many, many years (to be perfectly honest with you, I still have the same journal I started in ... wait for it ... 1999, almost 14 years ago. And I am only on page 220 out of 300. It may last another six). This we shall call epic failure.

I admire greatly those people who write regularly and abundantly in their journals. Sylvia Plath's journal, for example, is voluminous, covering page after page with her ideas for stories, her spites, her delights, how much she loved to cook and eat and write and love (see The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath if you are interested).

Then, when I was in Boston for a conference, I popped into the Anthropologie store on Newbury street (gorgeous store), and came across this compact little book called Q&A: 365 Questions, 5 Years, 1,825 Answers. And I thought, here is something I can do.


Each day, for five years, you answer the same question in a very short space - the sheer lack of investment that it seems to involve for such a long project, along with the promise of being able to see how I have changed as a person over the course of five years has sucked me in.


Now for today's entry (see above). Today, I wanted to write down a quote I came across in Neil Gaiman's fairy-tale poem "Instructions," and I thought, "Why don't I just write it above the date when I read it, so I'll know when I came across the line for the first time?" I turned to today's page and read this prompt: "Write down something that inspired you today." So, here it is:

Do not lose hope - what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. 
Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.

Sometimes the world works in mysterious, felicitous ways. It sometimes makes me wonder if aliens are controlling my every move ... or if there really is a God. ~Alice

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Highgate...

Today, in my Facebook feed, appeared this image from the gate to the Egyptian walk in Highgate Cemetery, London.

Image from the Facebook community page The Macabre and the Beautifully Grotesque
The site contains a gallery of over 1,400 albums, and they post images daily for those interested in the macabre, the gothic, the horrific, and the grotesque. Thanks, Scott (you know who you are), for the heads up on this one. I wonder if they have a drawing of Johnny the Grasseater;)?  
Highgate has been a macabre interest of mine since I read Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry, a ghostly novel set in and around this famous cemetery (I liked this book a great deal; even if I found it utterly disturbing and unsatisying in the end, I would recommend it for a light read).

Once the haunt of Victorians both live and dead, Highgate became the burial ground of choice for the financially well-off and the intellectual elite; George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, and Karl Marx (not to mention Charles Dickens' parents) are some of the notables buried therein. By the mid-1970s, however, Highgate had fallen into disrepair and the gates were closed. Later (after a vampire scandal, no less), the gates were reopened to the public by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery  (see tour options here: http://www.highgate-cemetery.org/index.php/home).



All images from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highgate_Cemetery.
I kick myself every time I realize I missed seeing Highgate the last time I was in London. You can bet your bottom dollar I won't miss it next time. Until tomorrow. ~Alice

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Possession (or my obsession with book art) ...

Here are a few of the books I got for Christmas (OK, OK, so I bought two of them for myself. What's the big deal?). I chose these books because their covers capture my obsession with the art of the book jacket, that tangible thing that makes us want to draw a book off the shelves and hold it tightly to our chests as we search the remainder of the bookshop for other finds.

First up, a new edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories, which collects the majority of Carroll's writing (Sylvie and Bruno, The Hunting of the Snark, Phantasmagoria, other verse and acrostics, you name it). I love the aesthetic of this edition - the fuchsia-and-black palette, the lines, the macrocephalic characters.

And to think it came from Barnes & Noble. Cover illustrations by Huge D'Andrade, cover design by Jo Obarowski.
Next, two of the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition series illustrated by Ruben Toledo, a Cuban-born illustrator, painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. I am absolutely enthralled by these images; they have a dark energy that swirls off the page into my hands, an energy that makes me want to read these books all over again.



Per the book-liner: "Ruben Toledo's book design for Penguin Classics represents the marriage of art and fashion to literature. His couture-inspired interpretations of these beloved classic characters and novels contribute a uniquely creative vision to the long history of excellence in book design at Penguin."
Possessing these books makes my dark heart happy. I hope you are enjoying your holiday books just as much. ~Alice

Monday, January 7, 2013

Zizzer-zazzer-zuzz...

Today, in my children's and YA lit class, I taught the alphabet. Well, alphabets (I did, however, demonstrate the old fashioned teaching method of "C... C... Cat"). Since, I've been thinking a great deal about how much and how little our culture has changed. And how much I love those morbid Puritans.

An early "hornbook" (so called because it was a piece of wood covered by a thin sheet of horn to protect the text from which youngsters would learn). Does it disturb anyone else that this looks like a paddle? Via
From The New England Primer. I have three favorite couplets here: "The Cat doth play, / And after slay"; "The idle Fool / Is whipt at school"; "As runs the Glass, / Man's life doth pass." This book is otherwise titled How to Screw Up an Entire Generation of Young People; Via

And my own personal favorite Seuss's ABC book (please find below a rather annoying app-version of this book. I read it sooooo much better).


So, here's my question: How do you remember learning your letters? Was it painless or painful? (I can't get those poor little eighteenth-century tikes in the baby class reciting their alphabets forwards and backwards alllllllll daaaaaaayyyyyy loooooooong). ~Alice

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Or Little Red Cap)...

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From this story one learns that children,
Especially young girls,
Pretty, well-bred, and genteel,
Are wrong to listen to just anyone,
And it's not at all strange,
If a wolf ends up eating them. 
I say a wolf, but not all wolves 
Are exactly the same. 
Some are perfectly charming,
Not loud, brutal, or angry,
But tame, pleasant, and gentle, 
Following young ladies 
Right into their homes, and into their chambers, 
But watch out if you haven't learned that tame wolves 
Are the most dangerous of all. 
           -Charles Perrault,"Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" (Translated by Maria Tatar)

This little "moral" comes at the end of the seventeenth-century French fairy tale "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge," or, as most of us now know it, "Little Red Riding Hood." I'll throw you the bones of the tale as it usually appears in American children's books these days: little girl is given food to take to her sick grandmother and is admonished to stay on the path as she makes her way through the woods, little girl goes off the path, little girl is eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. Check any of the app versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" available on your iPad; most of them survive on these morsels of the tale, serving up some rather bland chicken nuggets in the place of what was once a really delectable roast chicken (layered with Herbes de Provence).

My point here is that the evolution of fairy tales in the children's library (or in my opinion, the devolution of the fairy tale) has stripped them of the raiments that made them so compelling.  A fairy tale without some violence and strangeness and scariness, without some complexity, is like the emperor walking around without his clothes on - ridiculous (and rather sad).

In Perrault's version of "Little Red Riding Hood," the moral is directed not toward little young ladies in general, but girls of a certain order (the original French especially makes this apparent). The villain is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a man who has learned the ways of the court so well that he is especially dangerous to ingenues, girls just entering a new landscape full of social and sexual pitfalls. He is not a grunting, lumbering wolf with a huge mane who can barely utter a syllable. He is suave, debonair, and all the more frightening for being so. Furthermore, Perrault's point is not that one should avoid these wolves. Avoiding them is impossible. One must, instead, learn how to deal with them.

Modern fairy tales are mere shadows of their former selves, tame haints passing themselves off as the real thing. Tailored for a fast-moving, blurb-devouring generation, they move swiftly over the good stuff. Tame wolves are the most dangerous of all. I want my fairy tales untamed, unadulterated ... virile.

He he he...
Adieu. ~Alice






Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Year of Living Dangerously...

I believe in resolutions. I like the idea that every year on January 2nd (because I am still in full glutton mode on January 1st), I can wake up to a new world. A brave new world where I try to be a better person. One who doesn't stay up too late watching bad TV and drinking wine. One who doesn't procrastinate, eat unhealthy food, share too much on Facebook, gossip relentlessly ... and enjoy every last morsel of that bad behavior.

January is my puritanical month. I always try to drink my eight glasses of water, go to bed early, do all of my work ahead of time, you get the idea. For some, this means I become a rather boring person as the year spreads its wings. And this year, I think a change in lifestyle is even more important. As the years roll slowly forward, the days clicking relentlessly into place, I think it becomes harder and harder to change bad habits.

So here's to my year of living dangerously - of actually being a better person beyond the dog days of January. Goal #1: Take my vitamins. Geesh, I sound geriatric. ~Alice

You know you love my 8th-grade-style notebook.