Re Deep Secret -- Fairytales

Ven vendersleighc at
Sun Feb 24 21:49:18 EST 2002

Sorry about the empty post I sent yesterday, I will get the hang of
this new mailer one day.

My last rereading of DS, after seeing what everyone had to say was
enlightening. I was concentrating on two things, the fairy tale
resonances and the way the various magical manipulations played out.

On fairy tales: Dorian and Hallie were talking about Beauty and the
Beast from the perspective of the characters. I think there is also a
similarity of theme. B & TB is one of a whole series of similar tales,
from Cupid and Psyche to the Black Bull Of Norroway (a particular
favourite of mine). In all of them disaster ensues when the heroine is
persuaded to pry into her husband's true nature -- to spy on him.
Secrets, of course, are what the book is all about. It's Rupert trying
to find the next Emperor and a new Magid, both of which require him to
look into people's real identities and true nature. And   Maree and
Nick who are following Rupert around and finding out what he's up to.
In several of these tales, following the discovery and the sundering of
the couple, there follows a sequence in which the nosy heroine has to
go through much journeying and sundry ordeals (usually involving
housework) to arrive back at her husband/lovers side just in time to
stop him marrying someone else. Thsi seems to corespond to the Babylon
experience for both of them. Lots of hard work for Rupert, and lots of
yomping around the hotel through all the perils of convention parties
and Gram White's machinations, a more straightforwardly fairytale
journey for Maree.  

I do think the most overt parallels are with The Sleeping Beauty. Again
I'm not the only/first one to say so but I've lost track of who did say
this originally -- I think this discussion started soemwhere in the Hot
Babe thread (Deborah, did you say something a while ago about the
archives getting a search facility would be nice). A quick
recap: the SB role does to a certain extent fit both their
personalities. It also resonates with the idea of the imprisoned heirs,
only let out when it's time for them to rule, this is sort of the dark
side of SB. There are a plethora of barriers and mazes in DS. Trying to
take them in order:

Maree's sharp fingernails and bushlike hair, seemingly part of a
strategy of retreat from, if not outright avoidance, of human contact.
Bristol's one way system, augmented by magic, which delays their first
meeting, then Wantchester's road network, which prevents Maree and Nick
finding the Hotel.

The receptionist's intransigence and the hotel computer combining to
deny Maree a room at first. 

Gram White's workings at the Hotel, which turn the whole place into a

Aglaia Uglaia, the spiky bush goddess of the empire, personifies both
physical barriers and the barriers people put up within. The sequence
in Maree's hotel room where Rupert sees the thorns growing through
Maree's computer, her bed and even her teddybear is one of the most
disturbing in Dwj. We can see the teddy bear as reperesenting Maree and
what the Bush Goddess wants to do to her. And the thorn that pierces
the bear parallels the shuttle that puts Sleeping Beauty into her

Maree's trip to Babylon, saving both her father and herself transcends
the barrier between life and death.

Finally, in reference to Cinderella, it's striking that, if we take the
sfcon to be the ball, it's Rupert trying to stop her going there (using
the same working as to lure the other magid candidates) and Janine the
wicked "stepmother" who wants to get her there. (I've got more to say
aboput this later in a post to be titled DS --Intentions and The Witchy


.......... almost everyone is boring some kind of reader 
or other.

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

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