The Fairytale Importance of the Literary Salon and Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy

First, what is a salon? 1. A RECEPTION ROOM IN A LARGE HOUSE The common feature of a salon: It is set up for social interaction. Madeleine Lemaire – Le Gouter au Salon du Peintre, 1891. As shown in the header illustration, “Grand Salon” Hôtel du Collectioneur, Paris 1925. Arch. Emile Jaques Ruhlmann, a salon……

Creating A Fairytale World

To a modern audience, what makes a setting feel ‘fairytale’? What is it about the tone, style and plot? I argue here that what makes a fairytale setting feel ‘fairytale’ is mostly the ‘fairytale logic’. Just as we know, almost intuitively, that a particular narrative is a fairy tale when we read it, it seems……

Goethe and Angela Carter’s Erl-king Short Story Analysis

Moritz von Schwind, Illustration to Goethe's Poem "Erlkönig", 1849

“The Erl-King” is a short story by Angela Carter based on an old ballad by Goethe, one of the most famous ballads ever told. Carter’s re-visioning doesn’t use the plot from Goethe’s ballad, but borrows some of the atmosphere. Carter inverts the gaze and turns it into something new. As you might expect from Angela……

Frogs and Toads in Art and Storytelling

In stories, mice are to rats as frogs are to toads. Unlike hares and rabbits, toads and frogs are actually the same category of animal, but one has garnered a better reputation. I’ve heard ‘toad’ used as an insult, but I’ve only ever heard ‘froggy’ to describe the shape of someone’s mouth. Neither is especially……

Symbolism of Shoes, Feet and Footprints

The Modern Magic Shoes by Maxfield Parrish

Shoes and footwear contain plenty of symbolic meaning. Horse shoes are different again, but I’ll include horse shoes here for comparison. Early Nancy Drew stories were high concept hooks which generally paired two disparate things which are nonetheless related in some obscure way. In The Clue of the Tapping Heels, those two things are tap……