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Archive for the ‘Fairy Tales’ Category

Jorinda & Joringel

As per my interview with Maggie Stiefvater, here’s Jorinda and Joringel. Enjoy!

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There was once an old castle in the midst of a large and thick forest, and in it an old woman who was a witch dwelt all alone. In the day-time she changed herself into a cat or a screech-owl, but in the evening she took her proper shape again as a human being. She could lure wild beasts and birds to her, and then she killed and boiled and roasted them. If any one came within one hundred paces of the castle he was obliged to stand still, and could not stir from the place until she bade him be free. But whenever an innocent maiden came within this circle, she changed her into a bird, and shut her up in a wicker-work cage, and carried the cage into a room in the castle. She had about seven thousand cages of rare birds in the castle.
Now, there was once a maiden who was called Jorinda, who was fairer than all other girls. She and a handsome youth named Joringel had promised to marry each other. They were still in the days of betrothal, and their greatest happiness was being together. One day in order that they might be able to talk together in quiet they went for a walk in the forest. “Take care,” said Joringel, “that you do not go too near the castle.”

It was a beautiful evening; the sun shone brightly between the trunks of the trees into the dark green of the forest, and the turtle-doves sang mournfully upon the young boughs of the birch-trees.

Jorinda wept now and then: she sat down in the sunshine and was sorrowful. Joringel was sorrowful too; they were as sad as if they were about to die. Then they looked around them, and were quite at a loss, for they did not know by which way they should go home. The sun was still half above the mountain and half set.

Joringel looked through the bushes, and saw the old walls of the castle close at hand. He was horror-stricken and filled with deadly fear. Jorinda was singing,

“My little bird, with the necklace red,
Sings sorrow, sorrow, sorrow,
He sings that the dove must soon be dead,
Sings sorrow, sor — jug, jug, jug.”

Joringel looked for Jorinda. She was changed into a nightingale, and sang, “jug, jug, jug.” A screech-owl with glowing eyes flew three times round about her, and three times cried, “to-whoo, to-whoo, to-whoo!”

Joringel could not move: he stood there like a stone, and could neither weep nor speak, nor move hand or foot.

The sun had now set. The owl flew into the thicket, and directly afterwards there came out of it a crooked old woman, yellow and lean, with large red eyes and a hooked nose, the point of which reached to her chin. She muttered to herself, caught the nightingale, and took it away in her hand.

Joringel could neither speak nor move from the spot; the nightingale was gone. At last the woman came back, and said in a hollow voice, “Greet thee, Zachiel. If the moon shines on the cage, Zachiel, let him loose at once.” Then Joringel was freed. He fell on his knees before the woman and begged that she would give him back his Jorinda, but she said that he should never have her again, and went away. He called, he wept, he lamented, but all in vain,”Ah, what is to become of me?”

Joringel went away, and at last came to a strange village; there he kept sheep for a long time. He often walked round and round the castle, but not too near to it. At last he dreamt one night that he found a blood-red flower, in the middle of which was a beautiful large pearl; that he picked the flower and went with it to the castle, and that everything he touched with the flower was freed from enchantment; he also dreamt that by means of it he recovered his Jorinda.

In the morning, when he awoke, he began to seek over hill and dale if he could find such a flower. He sought until the ninth day, and then, early in the morning, he found the blood-red flower. In the middle of it there was a large dew-drop, as big as the finest pearl.

Day and night he journeyed with this flower to the castle. When he was within a hundred paces of it he was not held fast, but walked on to the door. Joringel was full of joy; he touched the door with the flower, and it sprang open. He walked in through the courtyard, and listened for the sound of the birds. At last he heard it. He went on and found the room from whence it came, and there the witch was feeding the birds in the seven thousand cages.

When she saw Joringel she was angry, very angry, and scolded and spat poison and gall at him, but she could not come within two paces of him. He did not take any notice of her, but went and looked at the cages with the birds; but there were many hundred nightingales, how was he to find his Jorinda again?

Just then he saw the old woman quietly take away a cage with a bird in it, and go towards the door.

Swiftly he sprang towards her, touched the cage with the flower, and also the old woman. She could now no longer bewitch any one; and Jorinda was standing there, clasping him round the neck, and she was as beautiful as ever!

From Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

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The merciless Macdonwald,
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him, from the Western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied…

Macbeth, (1.2.7-11)

Finally, it’s here [alack, alas, the interwebs have been uncooperative today, but Joe says we’re working on Mountain Time today] – our interview with Maggie Stiefvater! Listen to Maggie read us a section from Lament, then talk about writing, art, and her neurotic dog.

The fairy tales mentioned in the podcast will be up tomorrow; Lament will be available at Borders next Tuesday, and Barnes and Noble on the 28th. Can’t wait that long? Order it from Amazonnow!

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From Sheryl:

Something uplifting to get us into the swing of things for a new week:

I’ve just started the latest offering from Maggie Stiefvater, “Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception”. So far I’ve met Deirdre Monaghan and a handsome–perhaps Victorian–boy, Luke Dillon, from her dream, who demands greatness from her.

“Do you know how some people can do anything?”

I opened my eyes. I realized he was waiting for me to lead the way to the auditorium, so I started walking up the stairs. “What do you mean?”

As we got closer to the auditorium, there were more students waiting in the halls, all talking noisily, but I heard Luke’s voice behind me without difficulty. “I mean, you tell them to write a tune, they give you a symphony right there. You tell them to write a book, they write you a novel in a day. You tell them to move a spoon without touching it, they move it. If they want something, they make it happen. Miracles, almost.”

“Uh, not really,” I said. “Except for on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Do you know anyone who can do that?”

Luke’s voice dipped. “I’d ask them to do a few miracles for me if I did.”

It got me thinking – who am I going to demand greatness from this week? – and who will demand it from me?

Read the prologue and first chapter now.

Read the Les Bonnes Fees review of Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception here.

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for mp3 downloads of Maggie’s Lament inspired soundtrack!

(Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater © 2008. Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Publishing 2043 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. Used with the permission and best wishes of the publisher. All rights reserved.)

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Once Upon a Time, a Fairy Tale Quiz

From Mental Floss.com:


Fairy tales and fables have been around for centuries, but do you remember who wrote which tale? See if you can guess the author of some of the most popular fairy tales and fables ever created. For each story, pick the correct author(s): Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm, or Aesop.

The definition of author is a bit loose, but the quiz is fun all the same. Go here to play, then come back and let us know how you did!

[Edited: Sheryl, Joe, and I just had a go. See if you can guess who scored what. 47 %, 93 %, 80 %]

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As some of our lovely readers have noticed, the Les Bonnes Fees machine has been quiet lately. Well, we’re okay. We’re better than okay, actually, because we have a rockin’ second issue I’m really excited about. So, what’s been going on?

I’ve been–and still am–away. I wish I could say I’m off on a fairy tale fact finding mission, but I’m not. Well, not really. I am busy talking to people, searching out literature, and generally doing things for Les Bonnes Fees at the moment. But, because I’ve been travelling, my internet access has been patchy, so I haven’t been able to post much.

A general update–our water theme has been working out rather well, though I’m still looking for non-fiction and poetry. We work with google documents mostly, too, but there have been some issues with that lately so, if you haven’t heard from us, don’t panic. We are reading submissions, and we are sending out .rtf and .pdf notes and comments. Some of these emails will be coming from others on the Fees team due to my woeful lack of regular internet access, but I do see everything that comes in.

And the next issue? There’s no real theme as yet, but I’ve been seeing a lot of Hansel and Gretel works lately, so perhaps there’ll be something in that. Maybe something not quite as specific as that, but a theme to do with eating, or manipulation, or even mother and father figures…what do you think? Comment and let us know!

I’ll be posting a bit more about Rampion in the Belltower tomorrow (Australian time), as the lovely Merrie Haskell has written a bit about how she came to write the story. ‘Til then!

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From the Christian Science Monitor:

Rumpelstiltskin, the fairy-tale rogue who spun straw into gold, has nothing on Miguel Yacaman and Jorge Gardea-Torresdey.

The two University of Texas researchers have developed a way to draw gold from wheat, alfalfa, or – best of all – oats.

No spinning wheel required. In this day and age, a simple solvent will suffice to turn homely vegetation into a source of precious metals.

But if you’re thinking of quitting the day job and buying an alfalfa farm, don’t be too hasty. The quantities of gold at stake won’t quickly cover the cost of a harvesting combine.

The yields, in fact, are microscopic. The gold appears as particles mere billionths of a meter wide…[more]

Not quite the stuff of fairy tales, but interesting nonetheless!

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I have never been a fan of Salman Rushdie; I find his work too overblown, too in love with itself. But, after an interview about The Enchantress of Florence–a book that sounded like a literary and historical Harry Potter–my interest sparked.

Then, during my escape to an air-conditioned coffee shop this morning (it’s 33 C as I write this), I discovered a New York Times Book Review, pages still unsmeared and just itching to be read. Within, a review of the new Rushdie book.

David Geter, The New York Times Book Review:

From the very beginning of his new novel, “The Enchantress of Florence,” Salman Rushdie plunges us into a world of marvels: “In the day’s last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold. … Perhaps (the traveler surmised) the fountain of eternal youth lay within the city walls — perhaps even the legendary doorway to Paradise on Earth was somewhere close at hand? But then the sun fell below the horizon, the gold sank beneath the water’s surface, and was lost. Mermaids and serpents would guard it until the return of daylight.” And sure enough, that’s where he began to lose me. I’m probably not Rushdie’s target audience: in literature, at least, I find the marvelous tedious, and the tedious — as rendered by a Beckett or a Raymond Carver or even a Kafka — marvelous. But if I can upset myself over the plight of a traveling salesman who wakes up one morning as a bug, why did this ingenious and ambitious novel — no less than a defense of the human imagination — leave me unmoved? [more]

Still interested? Read the first chapter here.

Will I still read the book? Probably. Enchantress falls within the looser bounds of fairy tale literature. But, based on the first chapter, I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

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