[DWJ] Feeling sorry for Penelope (was Fire and Hemlock Question)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Tue Aug 22 17:42:03 EDT 2006

Minnow replied to me...

> Dorian wrote:
>>I always get annoyed when the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast" turns into a
> I don't get annoyed exactly, I just think it's futile; the moral of that
> story when I was told it as a child was "handsome is as handsome does", 
> and
> the Beast was already kind and lovable inside so he didn't *need* to be 
> any
> ol' boring Prince as far as I was concerned.

Well, yes, that's a large-ish part of my annoyance; the stupid futility of 
it.  (Also, Handsome Princes are, to me, intrinsically boring, whereas the 
Beast is interesting.)

> Some of the heroines of the Norse folk-tales are positively oomph-ful.  I
> suppose it's not surprising.  That east-of-the-sun west-of-the-moon girl 
> is
> definitely in charge, and nobody's pawn: it's her idiot lover who is in
> need of care-and-protection.

The Norse girls are great, aren't they!  No surprise that "East of the Sun 
and West of the Moon" is one of the tales DWJ specifically references in 
"Fire and Hemlock".
> Where *does* the story of the girl who makes shirts for her six brothers
> out of thistles to disenchant them from being swans come from?

*Seven* brothers, isn't it?  But anyway.  I couldn't swear to it, because 
the book is in my parents' house and I'm not, but I *think* this one is 
another Norse one; I'm fairly sure the book I know it from is a collection 
of Norse tales.  (Must see if I can find that book when I'm over there 

> Now *there's* a girl with ooomph -- and not a male
> protector in sight anywhere, as far as I remember, given that the King who
> marries her whilst she's not-speaking because the spell requires silence
> for its breaking isn't exactly supportive, what with sending her to be
> burned at the stake for eating her children and all.

The king is a bit of a prat, really...and doesn't she stay with him after 
All Is Revealed?  That's a bit annoying.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I will not trust you, I,
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though to run away."
-Wm. Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 

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