Rowling’s Beadle the Bard is sitting on my desk waiting for me to read it tonight (it really is short, you can’t rest your feet on this one!). The Telegraph has an article on fairy tales which I’ve perused but I was almost stopped by the phrase:
The heroines are, however, more feminist-friendly than the norm: “Beedles’ witches are much more active in seeking their fortunes than our fairy-tale heroines, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe”.
Now, I still haven’t entirely forgiven Rowling for the way she treated Hermione and moved her away from being an agent of change. However this ignores the tales that women wrote in the seventeenth century in which they outwit the magical creatures and also ignores the context of the period and the subtlety that is used by women to achieve their ends. Women now have very different lives to French aristocrats and can act in different ways. Even the Brother’s Grimm do occasionally allow women to come into their own and trick the evil man, for example in the Robber Bride where the heroine tricks the murderer into his own death.
Mini rant over.
However what will be fun to consider is how Rowling uses the original tale and maps it to her own end, becoming part of the conversation of narrative.
The Independent’s Books section reminded me of the cold hard facts of books. They need to sell and retailers are using it to prop themselves up. Sigh.