“Happy Hallmark Day!” My dry humoured BF greeted me this morning. “And next month on 14 March we can celebrate [the much lauded] Steak and BJ Day.” Colour me romanced.
With the commonly covered folklore-ish topics in this blog, I find myself wondering when the term “Fairytale Romance” first originated. The term really does seem like a misnomer. The first fairytale-esk romances that pop into my head:
- Little Mermaid becomes human for the man she loves, but he doesn’t return her feelings so she turns into foam [dies] – romance failed
- Snow White and Sleeping Beauty both appeared as if dead, and get kissed by necropheliac princes. In fact, in one of the earlier Sleeping Beauty stories, the prince sleeps with [rapes] Sleeping Beauty, and through Sleeping Beauty’s resultant children she awakens – romance failed
- the so-called Frog Princess hated the frog and threw him against a wall breaking the spell, returning him to a prince. The [masochistic] prince then asks the petulant girl to marry him (no kissing the frog in the original story) – romance failed
There are some tales that have some of the ingredients of a great love story, but would you really want to be taken captive by a hideous beast and who asked you to marry him every day from the first day you meet (Stockholm syndrome anyone?), or want a prince charming who only wanted you for your great dress sense, and wouldn’t recognise you without it (Cinderella). None of this really fits the picture of the so-called fairytale romance.
*Late addition 15.Feb.13* Also, on Beauty and the Beast, it’s occurred to me that Belle (aka Beauty) only accepts the Beast’s marriage proposal after he turns into a prince (before that she only loves him as a friend) Now, as the prince, would you really want a woman who could only accept you for your looks?
In any case, on this very fine [alleged] day of love, We Love this Book has come up with 5 anti-Valentines reads. Their list is a little morose, so I’ve compiled my own (adding these to my expansive reading list, re-reading the bunny suicides is never a chore…):
Sophus’ 5 Anti-Valentine Reads:
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: an exploration of the incomprehensible depths of madness and the physical and sexual violence in our time or any other.
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (and *ahem* Jane Austen): It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Nom Nom Nom.
- Wedlock by Wendy Moore: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match – a tale of divorce, violence, madness and scandal (see also How to Create the Perfect Wife)
- The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley: This is dark humour at its best – does what it says on the tin.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy: a post-apocolyptic tale of a journey across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth. Cheery.
Any other suggestions?