Banksy is one of my favorite living artists. I love him with a deep, quiet passion. I hope that one day soon you will love Banksy, too.
ONCE upon a time there dwelt on the outskirts of a large forest a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children; the boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had always little enough to live on, and once, when there was a great famine in the land, he couldn’t even provide them with daily bread. One night, as he was tossing about in bed, full of cares and worry, he sighed and said to his wife: “What’s to become of us? How are we to support our poor children, now that we have nothing more for ourselves?”
“I’ll tell you what, husband,” answered the woman, “early tomorrow morning we’ll take the children out into the thickest part of the wood; there we shall light a fire for them and give them each a piece of bread; then we’ll go on to our work and leave them alone. They won’t be able to find their way home, and we shall thus be rid of them.”
A KING was once hunting in a great wood, and he hunted the game so eagerly that none of his courtiers could follow him. When evening came on he stood still and looked round him, and he saw that he had quite lost himself. He sought a way out, but could find none. Then he saw an old woman with a shaking head coming towards him; but she was a witch.
`Good woman,’ he said to her, `can you not show me the way out of the wood?’
`Oh, certainly, Sir King,’ she replied, `I can quite well do that, but on one condition, which if you do not fulfil you will never get out of the wood, and will die of hunger.’
`What is the condition?’ asked the King.
`I have a daughter,’ said the old woman, `who is so beautiful that she has not her equal in the world, and is well fitted to be your wife; if you will make her lady-queen I will show you the way out of the wood.’
The King in his anguish of mind consented, and the old woman led him to her little house where her daughter was sitting by the fire. She received the King as if she were expecting him, and he saw that she was certainly very beautiful; but she did not please him, and he could not look at her without a secret feeling of horror. As soon as he had lifted the maiden on to his horse the old woman showed him the way, and the King reached his palace, where the wedding was celebrated.
Snow White picks up an endorsement from Volvo. Text reads, “With seven seats. Sorry.”
Second installment of ‘favorite fairy tales from students':
THERE once lived a poor tailor, who had a son called Aladdin, a careless, idle boy who would do nothing but play ball all day long in the streets with little idle boys like himself. This so grieved the father that he died; yet, in spite of his mother’s tears and prayers, Aladdin did not mend his ways. One day, when he was playing in the streets as usual, a stranger asked him his age, and if he was not the son of Mustapha the tailor. “I am, sir,” replied Aladdin; “but he died a long while ago.” On this the stranger, who was a famous African magician, fell on his neck and kissed him, saying, “I am your uncle, and knew you from your likeness to my brother. Go to your mother and tell her I am coming.” Aladdin ran home and told his mother of his newly found uncle. “Indeed, child,” she said, “your father had a brother, but I always thought he was dead.” However, she prepared supper, and bade Aladdin seek his uncle, who came laden with wine and fruit. He presently fell down and kissed the place where Mustapha used to sit, bidding Aladdin’s mother not to be surprised at not having seen him before, as he had been forty years out of the country. He then turned to Aladdin, and asked him his trade, at which the boy hung his head, while his mother burst into tears. On learning that Aladdin was idle and would learn no trade, he offered to take a shop for him and stock it with merchandise. Next day he bought Aladdin a fine suit of clothes and took him all over the city, showing him the sights, and brought him home at nightfall to his mother, who was overjoyed to see her son so fine.
Haven’t posted any lovely eye-candy in what feels like a long while. Enjoy.
This session I tried something new and asked my students to e-mail their favorite fairy tale to the group between classes. The idea was to (a) get them to read more fairy tales and familiarize themselves with the genre, (b) get them talking to each other, if only in e-mail, (c) read some stories outside my habitual group of favorites.
So this week I’m going to post a new student favorite each day. We’ll start with “Thumbelina”:
THERE was once a woman who wished very much to have a little child, but she could not obtain her wish. At last she went to a fairy, and said, “I should so very much like to have a little child; can you tell me where I can find one?”
“Oh, that can be easily managed,” said the fairy. “Here is a barleycorn of a different kind to those which grow in the farmer’s fields, and which the chickens eat; put it into a flower-pot, and see what will happen.”
“Thank you,” said the woman, and she gave the fairy twelve shillings, which was the price of the barleycorn. Then she went home and planted it, and immediately there grew up a large handsome flower, something like a tulip in appearance, but with its leaves tightly closed as if it were still a bud. “It is a beautiful flower,” said the woman, and she kissed the red and golden-colored leaves, and while she did so the flower opened, and she could see that it was a real tulip. Within the flower, upon the green velvet stamens, sat a very delicate and graceful little maiden. She was scarcely half as long as a thumb, and they gave her the name of “Thumbelina,” or Tiny, because she was so small.
This is, apparently, the time in which I post a lot of little clips of successful authors talking about how to write.
I admire Kurt Vonnegut tremendously, and though this slideshow is visually a bit silly, it is verbally quite sound.
Check out the Russian version of “The Little Mermaid,” with magically delicious animation. I’m starting with part 2. If you’d like to watch the entire thing, just follow the link in the bottom right-hand corner of the YouTube embed and you’ll find the index for the rest on the right-hand side of the YouTube page.