"Transformations" (was RE: William Mayne update)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Mar 28 08:44:56 EST 2004

Gili wrote:

>I can't read "Transformations" without remembering what Maria Tatar told her
>class about how this book came about. It seems that Anne Sexton caught one
>of her daughters reading a book of fairy tales, and asked her whether she
>liked them, and which were her favorite stories in the book. The poems in
>"Transformations" are each about a story that her daughter named as a
>favorite. It's one thing when a poet writes a new take on old fairy tales,
>showing how each can be viewed in a deep, dark light. It's another to think
>of a mother deliberately twisting and corrupting something she knows her
>daughter enjoyed.

What a horrible story.

That actually makes me feel *more* sickened than somebody finding pubescent
children (not his own) sexually exciting.  After all, sexual feeling and
desire is natural (though it may be misdirected) and built into the species
at a very deep level; to harm one's own children is contrary to all
instinct, and would work against the survival of the species.  It's a level
of perversity and nastiness that is really quite painful.

Excuse me whilst I just go and find my daughter, to hug her and tell her
that I love her.


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