Sunday, October 31, 2004

Baum and Political Allegory p2

31 Oct 04 Part II Baum and Political Allegory


Part I Wizard of Oz I Theosophical Society

Between the implications of social utopianism or utopian socialism and the puritanical distaste for allegorical works that might conceivably have mystical interpretations, Baum fell out of favor with the American public shortly after his death in 1919. Other commentators criticize his constant use of women and his disdain for romantic encounters between his characters, accusing him of promoting homosexuality and lesbianism. Such accusations are difficult to substantiate, but unfortunately those who wish to see the world only in stark monochromatic terms lose the the glory of nuanced colorings and the wonderful insights gained through allegory.

In considering, the Wizard as political allegory of the struggle of common man against the corrupt government of the east; the despondent souls living in the desert of Kansas dream of escaping to the the ethereal Emerald City along a Yellow Brick Road paved in gold. In drawing his parallels, Littlefield argues that the silver shoes Dorothy wears symbolizes Bryan's national plea for using silver to stabilize the gold standard and the split within the US as westerners skeptically viewed the Big Government in the East as the Wicked Witch. Several presidents fit the description of the Wizard as a Humbug from Grant to McKinley with the unrest of western farmers and the settlers on worthless land grants stolen from the Indian Wars as the common worker was exploited unmercifully for his labor without minimum wage or basic health insurance or medical care.

In this view, Dorothy becomes the feminist leader of the motley crew of socially marginalized figures, the pumpkin-headed Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion each representing a segment of disillusioned American society, desperately in search of the ideal political solution with a little magic from the inviisible wizard who through tricks of illusion appears to be a

" a great Head," said Dorothy...."And I thought Oz was a terrible Beast," said the Tin Woodman. "And I thought Oz was a Ball of Fire," exclaimed the Lion. "No; you are all wrong," said the little man meekly. "I have been making believe."

but turns out to be a terrible humbug instead in a city-state where green is the national color and the leader must appear to be everything to every person.

Although the company do not find a utopian solution for man's enslavement to greed or industry, they do fulfill their quests by achieving fulfilment through themselves ather than the artifice of the Wizard's magic in the duration of the journey. In spite of the colorful diversity of the Land of Oz where all things are pragmatically regulated and organized, Dorothy yearns to return to the bleak land of Kansas where crops to be successful must fail in order to gain the compensation from the government.

In time for a presidential election, maybe the Wizard of Oz fits neatly into the current reading list for a refreshing insight of American life and politics. And looking at the two candidates placed before the American public, one seems to be distinctly a humbug, roaring about when in reality he is filled with cowardice, having skipped any direct involvement with past wars only to volunteer the lives of gullible and vulnerable Americans overseas to terrorism.

Nostalgic, Americans can look back on Baum as a model of "simple living" and "true American values" of pragmatism overcoming the obstacles of sophistry and technology and getting down to the basics with fireside talks with the Trumans, Roosevelts and Carters. Confronted by the Wicked Witch, Dorothy tosses ordinary water on her, causing her destruction. Corruption dissolves before the truth and the remnants of it should be swept out the door before the next incoming official. Too often, we are deluded by the appearance of things and confounded by the roar of words, unwilling to trust ourselves to overcome the difficulties before us thereby allowing ourselves to be enslaved to regimes we recognize as destructive. Each adversary, Baum reminds us, has its weakness—the real problem is our own weak knees in confronting adversity.

Perhaps, in having November as the Election month with Thanksgiving just following, Americans preserve the national humor by placing taking a turkey from the White House and placing a pumpkinhead within.

Recipes for Election Day
Grilling the Turkey

Talking Turkey with the Reluctant Gourmet

Pumpkin Heads with Fab Foods

Mollie Katzen—pumpkins

Pumpkin Nook
has a basic pumpkin pie recipe plus all you need to know about pumpkins
best topping for pumpkin pie is homemade strawberry jam and when you have none, use blackberry

Parable on Popularism by Henry M Littlefield

Brooke Allen, 'L. Frank Baum': The Man Behind the Curtain
New York Times, November 17, 2002

"As the Tin Woodman remarks of his stint as emperor of the Winkies, ''Like a good many kings and emperors, I have a grand title, but very little real power, which allows me time to amuse myself in my own way.'' Baum often uses such asides as a vehicle for wry commentary: the citizens of the Emerald City, for instance, are pleased by the Scarecrow's accession to the throne, '' 'For,' they said, 'there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man.' And, so far as they knew, they were quite right'' -- the ''so far as they knew'' being a brilliant comment upon rulers as a species"

Kirjasto: L Frank Baum

short bio listing some of his 69 works
chief pseudonyms: Hugh Fitzgerald, Edith Van Dyne, Schuyler Stanton, Suzanne Metcalf, John Estes Cook, Floyd Akers, Louis F Gottschalk (two musicals) and Byron Gay

Theosophical Society:
Five Essays on the Wizard of Oz

L Frank Baum Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919 . The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Text Center, University of Virginia Library

Richard Brown: Oz FAQs
a list of questions generally asked obout the book

Suite101 Janet Kay Blaycock

Other Places
International Wizard of Oz Club
memberhsip, books, conventions, publications, reference, Oz resources
The International Wizard of Oz Club
P.O. Box 26249
San Francisco, CA 94126-6249

UC San Diego History of the Wizard of Oz
with book jacket illustrations

Oz Central

Lyman Frank Baum

has links to online books
picture/image search, audio files, literary bios and search tools

For Text

University of Virginia Young Reader's Collection The Marvellous Land of Oz
scroll to Baum Palm or MS Reader
there are some illustrated works here

Lyman Frank Baum
has a collection of links and 26 works online
plain vanilla text—well laid out and legible

Gutenberg index L Frank Baum works

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum

Glinda of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Rinkitink in Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Tik-Tok of Oz

The Tin Woodman of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Fab Foods Halloween

the gallery at Fab Foods

Pumpkin Nook- Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Nook
has a basic pumpkin pie recipe plus all you need to know about pumpkins
best topping for pumpkin pie is homemade strawberry jam and when you have none, use blackberry


Kidnapped Santa Claus

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Wizard of Oz p1

30 Oct 04 Wiz of Oz 1

For kids everywhere, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with its pumpkin-headed scarecrow represents escape from dull reality and the doldrums of pragmatic living with its bleak black and white views on humanity. Controversial, L Frank Baum's books lend themselves to new literary commentary, examining them within their historical frame and in light of political nd philosophical movements of their day. For those who are unread, the title recalls the 1939 film with Judy Garland as Dorothy, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Frank Morgan as Wizard and Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch and the lyrics of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" reflecting the evanescent American Dream of success.

Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919) was born in New York to a successful oilman, Benjamin Ward Baum and the ardent feminist, Cynthia Stanton Baum. He was home tutored until twelve when he was shipped off unmercifully to Peterskill Military Academy where he learn to hate military discipline. A precocious writer, he was writing stories, dramas and musicals even in his teens, producing the Rose Lawn Journal when he was fifteen from the estate in Chittenango. Seeing his propensity towards theater, his father provided support and houses for Baum to establish his own troupe. However, the stock market crash in the eighties, brought with it financial disaster for the Baum family. Adopting his father's pragmatism, Baum tried nearly aspect of commercial business without success, including a general store in Aberdeen, Dakota Territory and establishing the National Association of Window Trimmers and becoming the editor-publisher of Show Windows from 1897-1902.

In 1873, he tried was a journalist for the New York World, which was also the origin of another famous children's writer, Thornton Burgess and his long-standing partnership with Harrison Cady and the Mother West Wind books. In 1875, Baum was in Pennsylvania raising chickens and editing the Poultry Record. In 1882, his life changed as he formed a lifetime partnership with Maud Gage, his wife and business manager, keeping him on a safer road of domestic stability and success. With Maud, he had four sons; but his works are dominated by heroines. His wife, too was an ardent feminist, influencing Baum in the presentation of his novels and political involvement. In 1888, they moved to Aberdeen, Dakota territory where he tried to apply himself in business by opening a general store which failed.This period becomes the background for Dorothy's bleak Kansas with its drab, worn-out atmosphere. They remained there for two eyars befoer returning to Chicago where they were involved in the Populist Movement, taking part in the torchlight parades of William Jennings Bryan. The Wizard of Oz is interpreted as both a political and mystical allegory, with parallels alluding to Democratic Populism or Theosophy. In his essay, The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism, Henry M Littlefield argues persuasively of Baum's political involvement reflected in the symbolism of the main characters and their attributes. Other literary critics recognize the hidden symbolism of Theosophy as the Tin Man is in search of a heart, the Cowardly Lion, courage and the Scarecrow, a mind. The argument of heart versus mind is ancient, traced back to Plato's Charmides. The pumpkin-headed figure is also relatively ancient, possibly traced back to the Pumpkinification of Claudius by Seneca. The symbols lend themselves easily of either political or mystical interpretations with fundamental Christian moralists eschewing Baum as morally corrupt and an adherrent to New Age mentality. They perceive his ability to translate mystical symbolism into children's literature as dangerous as he divides divides the world into four essences following the medieval alchemists with the Masonic/ Theosophical search for Light.

The Tin Man represents the heart—the feminine nature of mankind
The Scarecrow represents the mind—the masculine nature of mankind
while the Lion represents courage or the application of both to one's environment.

The fairy world is divided into four domains:

Air: sylphs or winged fairies (Lulea in Queen Zixie of Oz; Lurline in The Tin Woodman of Oz)

Water: nymphs or undines (Aquareine in The Sea Fairies and the waterfairies in The Scarecrow of Oz)

Earth: gnomes (King Nome and the nomes in The Kidnapping of Santa Claus and The life and Adventures of Santa Claus)

Fire: salamanders (Demon of Electiricty in The Master Key and the Lovely Lady of Light in Tik-Tok of Oz)

Furthermore, Baum destroys the monochrome image of black and white completely by rejecting the concept of absolute evil versus absolute good. There are two sides to everything, and no evil is completely bad; all of his characters have a weakness that contribute to their undoing. A mystic, he understands that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was planted in the garden before the creation of man; therefore good and evil always co-existed, but man through taking a bite learned of its bitterness.

Kirjasto: L Frank Baum
short bio listing some of his 69 works
chief pseudonyms: Hugh Fitzgerald, Edith Van Dyne, Schuyler Stanton, Suzanne Metcalf, John Estes Cook, Floyd Akers, Louis F Gottschalk (two musicals) and Byron Gay

Theosophical Society:
Five Essays on the Wizard of Oz

L Frank Baum Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919 . The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Text Center, University of Virginia Library

Baum and the not-So Wonderful Oz
a peculiar look at Baum through Christian fundamentalism, revealing the reasons why Baum is frequently boycotted and banned by puritanical moralists

For Text
University of Virginia Young Reader's Collection The Marvellous Land of Oz
scroll to Baum Palm or MS Reader

Gutenberg index L Frank Baum works

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Teaching materials

Baum: Teacher's Resource Page
has files for teaching and reading L Frank Baum

LOC Exhibit, The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairytale

Richard Brown: Oz FAQs
a list of questions generally asked obout the book

Other Places

International Wizard of Oz Club
memberhsip, books, conventions, publications, reference, Oz resources
The International Wizard of Oz Club
P.O. Box 26249
San Francisco, CA 94126-6249

UC San Diego History of the Wizard of Oz
with book jacket illustrations

Tech Association
Wizard of Oz

Teach-Nology: Baum
resources and links for teaching Baum's Wizard of Oz

Oz Central

Suite101 Janet Kay Blaycock


Kidnapped Santa Claus

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


27 Oct 04 Blue Beard

Harry Clarke illus
title page

According to the commentary on Sur La Lune, the story of Bluebeard is based on the life of Giles de Rais, a Marshal of France who served under Joan of Arc. Retiring to his estates after her execution, he became an alchemist, sodomizing boys and dabbling in black magic as well as child sacrifices apparently. He confesed to over 140 killings, but may have killed as many as 300—for this he was hanged and burned alive on October 26, 1440 —an incredibly difficult combination of executions.

Harry Clarke illu
Bluebeard joins his other wives

In 1697 Perrault published Bluebeard, in Histioiires ou contes du temps passé / Stories or Tales of Past Time, making it equally justifiable to say that Henry VIII was the real life model with his domestic diplomacy of disposing with several wives. In some ways, Bluebeard is the inversion of Beauty and the Beast regarding the themes of fidelity and marriage. A man has two daughters whom he wishes to marry to a wealthy neighbor, but they are repelled by him having a blue beard. To engage their affection, Blue Beard took them to his country estate where nothing by pleasure could be found in hunting, fishing, dancing and feasting. No one went to bed as the parties lasted till early morn. The younger of the two daughters began to think that life was not so bad with Blue Beard. A month after their departure, the marriage was concluded between the young woman, Fatima, and Blue Beard.

And all the neighbors and friends were envious of the rich marriage. They visited the castle to see about the trappings and wished the bride well and left her to her fate. her huband departs on a journey, leaving her a key to a secret chamber in the cellar with the instruction not to enter. However, Curiosity overcomes her and she investigates, only to find the corpses of other slaughtered brides.

Contemporary interpretation like to moralize that curiosity killed the cat. The story has taken on the usual Freudian sexual connotations that the bloody key represents the bride's infidelity to Blue Beard, while past generations used it to moralize it on the sanctitiy of marriage and grave punishment for marital insubordination. Both views ignore historical environment at the time of Perrault. Whether Perrault based the story on Giles de Rais or even Vlad IV the model of Dracula, cannot be proven. He may have used Cunmar the Accursed, a 15th century tyrant who killed a succession of wives in Brittany. It seemed a popular way of disposing of them as Henry VIII did so himself. However the last of Cunmar's wives is more fortunate than Anne Boleyn. After being decapitated outside the castle, St Gildas, the abbot of Rhuys happened by and restored her head to body, thus resussicating her. The story is found in frescoes in St Nicholas des Eaux. Similar stories are Fitcher's Bird in the Grimms' collection, Silvernose in Calvino's Italian Folktales and the English, Robber Bridgroom.

But curiously, Blue Beard, usually appears in oriental dress, something of a Turk in illustration.

Dulac illus
Quiller-Couch version of Blue Beard
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863–1944). The Sleeping Beauty and other Fairy Tales. 1910.

Perrault first brought the story forth in 1697—just fourteen years after the Siege of Vienna. In 1683, Mustafa I with 250,000 Turks were at the walls of Vienna on Kahlenberg. Kahlenberg overlooks Vienna above Grinzing—where Beethoven didn't hear the church bells. It is about 25minute walk through the vineyards from the Grinzinger Church, less than an hour's walk to the Stephansdom. Mustafa's armies encircled Vienna, because the other major battle was just across from where the Sudbahnhof stands today—a mere 15minutes walk from the Stephansdom. The Poles under John Socieski attacked from rear and Prince Eugene of Savoy defended Vienna—hence Prinz Eugenstrasse leading to the Sudbahnhof. It wasn't the first invasion of the Turks to Vienna, but the last. An exhibition of the weapons, tents, arms and javelins is permamently in the Heeresgeschichte Museem near to the Sudbahnhof. The Viennese were shaking in their nightgowns. The theme or relief of the defense is picked up by Mozart in Cosi fan Tutte where the two women exchange lovers and in the Abduction where Constanza escapes. White slavery of western women was a flourishing trade, just as much as black slavery. Nearby Vienna lies a small town near a large rock, Hainburg—where the great Roman general Marcus Aurelius had fortified the Danube. This town was swept through every war since that time, withstanding the sieges of Swedes and Turks successively, but one very narrow alley leading precipitously into the Danube is called Blutgasse. Why? The Turks having overrun the town, slaughtered all the inhabitants and cast them down this street into the Danube.

All of Europe was torn by the bitter religious wars between Catholics and Protestants, not limited to their own borderlands. The Swedes battled in Vienna and fought at White Mountain in Prague whle England fought between Catholic and Protestant governments through successive rulers. Perrault living in the midst of political and religious chaos and persecution, may have equally well chosen the model of Henry VIII as Elizabeth survived, taking on the authority of the throne and immediately persecuting the Catholics she could find. The story might more realistically reflect the brutality ongoing in the world betwixt the political and religious powers with the warning not to look into the bloody past of either. Both the church and state always wish to represent themselves as innocent maids, but in reality both were grotesquely barbaric hiding bloody carcasses behind the doors, while offering a golden key.

The Blue Fairy Book
a searchable version of the Blue Fairy Book

Sur La Lune: Bluebeard
annotated story

Sur la Lune Book Gallery
Bluebeard and spin-offs incl Eudora Welty

Tracy Ann Bernson
Castles, Moats, Roses, and Thorns: A Study of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and the Fairy Tale Tradition of Bluebeard

Terri Winding Bluebeard and the Bloody Chamber

Gustave Dore, illus
bio at Weslyan with illustrations from fairytales
Blue Beard is toward bottom. Takes time to load.

Gilles de Rais
a fairly long biographical account of Gilles de Rais. The account differs from Sur La Lunee's in that he was first strangled and then burnt, after being tortured by Inquisition.

Crime Library: Legend of Bluebeard by Mark Gribben
extremely slow in opening

Man More Than Myth by Joseph Geringer
Vlad Dracula


Blue Beard
has a list of links

Fitcher's Bird

Robber Bridgroom

Bartok Opera

Blaubart Schloss Bluebeard's Castle by Bartok
with the
Hungarian State Opera
well worth seeing this production

Bluebeard's Castle
a short history of the opera production
"Librettist Béla Balázs, influenced by his peer Endre Ady, embraced the French symbolists as a model for his work. Balázs' source of the Bluebeard story was the symbolist poet Maeterlinck's Ariane et Barbe-bleue, an adaptation of Perrault's fairy tale."


Michel Gagne Walt Disney and Bluebeard's Wives
drafts for animated ghosts

French Production of Blue Beard
Director : CHRISTIAN-JAQUE Co-author : Jean Bernard-Luc Dialogues : Henri Jeanson

Freedom to Read:
World Library and Information Congress: 70th IFLA General ...
Reading Adventure Gustavo Roldán Buenos Aires, Argentina

History- Turkish Invasion

Siege of Vienna 1683

Austrian-Polish Agreement
Battle of Vienna: September 12, 1683 by Richard Lysiak

Prince Eugene of Savoy

Turkish Wars

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Ovid Book 1: Lycaon: Lycanthropy and Vampyres
20 Oct 04 Ovid Bk 1 Lycaon

Ovid recalls the Four Ages of Man, describing the destruction of creation and the corruption of the world. The First Millenium was Gold: Men were content to live at peace and indeed so peaceful with one another that they had not yet begn to explore the earth. No cities crowded the rivers or crowned hills. Life was simple without need for fortifications. The trees bent over to give their fruit from extended fingers, the grapes and strawberries ripened in the sun while man was content to eat his fill without quarrelling with his neighbor.

The Second Age was Silver when Saturn fell to Death's dark contry and Jove began to rule. This age was not so rich as change came when Autumn brought her shifty winds and wild Winter ravaged earth, stripping the trees barren of their fruit. Ice crystallized the winter air and Spring restored the world with greenery, but lived a life too short. In this time, man learned to plough the land and work by the sweat of his brow to plant the seed and harvest the wheat, grinding gain for bread. His back against the wind, man built shelters for the winter, shutting his world into little boxes—each one defending for himself.

The Third Age followed, filled with Bronze. Trumpets rang as men turned their ploughshares to swords and fought with one another still in fear of almighty Jove. And soon thereafter, came the Fourth, the Age of Iron in which we live today: man against man; each striving to maintain his selfish gain. The breast of Mother Earth sodden with men's blood as strife breaks out between the bitter quarrels of kingdoms and countries, each fighting for superiority. The values of the past are gone. No man trusts his brother while Piety, Faith, Love and Truth are all exchanged for Violence, Cheating, Deceit and Usury—the world turns with trade.

So it was when Jove decided to visit Earth disguised as a peasant to discover the ways of men and bring justice to the world. Death trod the earth as man watched warily of one another. Driven by greed to raid the bowels of earth, they succumbed to avarice and murder, each taking what he could. Brother distrusted brother and stepmothers devised poison as choice desserts for their sons. Fury raged within the walls of homes and spread across the lnd as countries fought with one another, threatening to destroy the oundations of the world. In this time in Lycaeus, there lived one tyrant, Lycaon, more cruel than all the others. He had no fear of any man and less of Jove above. Inhumane, he was beastly to those who dwelt within his domain. Imprisoning men within his cells and slaying them to fill his cooking-pot, he slit their bowels and devoured their entrails. This was the feast he prepared for the ruler of the gods and so ppalled by the horror o it all, Jove struck him with a thunderbolt. His cry we hear as he stalks his prey at night now. his cloak turned to coarse hair and his legs became those of a wolf as he seeks to tear the life-blood from helpless animals with his canine teeth.

So Ovid introduced the story of the werewolf into the Western world, taking it from other sources including the Trojan War. Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus entertained a wandering Zeus, cooking up a meal from one of his sons. (Apollodorus III: 8 Later the wolf tales, particularly the adaption of Romulus and Remus were brought into western literature through the Tarzan stories and Kipling's Jungle Books in a begnine manner as men run with the wolf-pack and live half-wild lives, yet always maintaining their identity as human.)

Such shape-changers originated from the east through the stories of Vikram the Vampyre which were incorporated into Apuleius, Golden Ass. Below are links for meeting with the Indian Vampyre which invaded the western world before Apuleius birth ca 130. The Gandharba-Sena, originator of the Vikram stories, lived in the century before the dawn of Christianity and with the east-west trade, his stories spread in the same manner as the Jatarka and Bidpai Tales which incorporated with the Aesop's Fables.

Dryden, transl Metamorphoses

Book 1

Kline, A. S., (poetry translation) “Ovid, The Metamorphoses
full downloadable Metamorphoses in .pdf with index and hyperlinked text for quick searching.
Author email :

Description of text : This is the most accessible translation of Ovid's "The Metamorphoses" ever produced. It combines readable contemporary language with an in-depth mythological index which is fully hyper-linked to the main text and vice versa. Experience a narration of Greek and Roman mythology from the Creation, to the foundation of Rome. Theseus, Hercules and Achilles are among the many characters illuminated by this 4 MB .pdf 880 MR

Wikipedia: Lycaon
gives a summary of texts and sources in classical literature where Lycaon appears and their differences

Wikipedia: Werewolf
definition with history of the word

Wikipedia: Lycanthropy
gives a history and description of the myth

Captain Sir Richard F. Burton's, Vikram and The Vampire
Classic Hindu Tales of Adventure, Magic, and Romance
Edited by his Wife, Isabel Burton
from the preface 1870 version:

"The Baital-Pachisi, or Twenty-five Tales of a Baital is the history
of a huge Bat, Vampire, or Evil Spirit which inhabited and
animated dead bodies. It is an old, and thoroughly Hindu, Legend
composed in Sanskrit, and is the germ which culminated in the
Arabian Nights, and which inspired the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius,
Boccacio's "Decamerone," the "Pentamerone," and all that class of
facetious fictitious literature.

The story turns chiefly on a great king named Vikram, the King
Arthur of the East, who in pursuance of his promise to a Jogi or
Magician, brings to him the Baital (Vampire), who is hanging on a
tree. The difficulties King Vikram and his son have in bringing the
Vampire into the presence of the Jogi are truly laughable; and on
this thread is strung a series of Hindu fairy stories, which contain
much interesting information on Indian customs and manners. It
also alludes to that state, which induces Hindu devotees to allow
themselves to be buried alive, and to appear dead for weeks or
months, and then to return to life again; a curious state of
mesmeric catalepsy, into which they work themselves by
concentrating the mind and abstaining from food "

Tales of King Vikram and Betaal the Vampire
very short fables are available here

vampyre codex
"The prototype of this work was first set to paper in late 1991. A specially printed version was offered to select students in conjunction with the International Society of Vampires beginning in 1995. Later revisions led to the Sanguinarium edition, published by the Sanguiarium Press in October 2000. This version is derived from the Sanguinarium edition which also came to be circulated widely on the Internet"

Wikipedia: Vampires


27 Sept 04 Daedalus and Icarus

20 Sept 04 Deucalion and Pyrrha

11 Sept 04 Daedalus and Icarus

4 Sept 04 Phaethon Rises

15 Febr 04 Pyramus and Thisbe: Till Death Do us Not Part

14 Nov 04 Baucis and Philemon

7 Nov 04 Medea

21 Dec 04 Let Us Orpheus Theosophically

4 Jan 05 Orpheus and Eurydice a Transcendental Kind of Love

30 Jan 2005 Venus and Mars

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Robber Bridegroom

13 Oct 04 Robber Bridegroom

Robber Bridgroom

October is the month for dark tales as Halloween approaches. In the following weeks, witches shall appear and vampyres and werewolves roam through the night, each seeking to trap unwary souls.

Among the tales of Grimms, is the Robber Bridegroom. Similar to Beauty and the Beast, a young lady is promised in marriage to a stranger. Her father, a poor miller, hopes for the best as he recognizes the need for her to have a future home. Like Blue Beard and Red Riding Hood, the story has elements of cannibalism. Yet like Hansel and Gretel, it also has the motif of dropping peas and lentils along the way to the stranger's house in the wood. Unlike Hansel and Gretel, the birds do not swoop down to devour them, but they sprout to mark her escape home. Upon entering the house, she finds it deserted, but a little bird warns her of danger, just as a bird warns the prince that he is bearing away the wrong daughter in Cinderella. Although the father has good intentions in marrying his daughter off, the message is clear that even when circumstances seem to be practical, danger may be lurking in the shadows and it might be better to rely on one's instinct.

The daughter is compliant with her father's wishes, but at the same time circumspect. She does not much trust the stranger who lives in the woods. He seems to far removed from civilization and provides for herself an escape. With few resources, she is resources and wary of the world in which she lives.

The theme of women being trapped into dangerous situations by marriage or caught be abductors and robbers is frequent in fairytales. In Andersen's, Snow Queen, Gerda is captured by the robber band and held captive like the reindeer by the Robber Maiden.

Part 1 The Mirror
The Snow Queen" translated by Naomi Lewis,
Illustrated by Angela Barrett illustration copyright 1988

Part 5 The Little Robber-Girl

In other respects the story resembles the English Jack and the Beanstalk in that the old hag hides the girl behind a cask and protects her. Like Jack, the miller's daughter makes good her escape although she gains no treasure in the adventure. When the stranger appears for his wedding-day, the girl confronts him with a dream story, placing the burden of justice on his shoulders. Trapped by her cleverness, he is apprehended and rendered harmless.

The story may point to the protective instinct that most of us have, but fail to nuture. Prodded through life by the demands of others, we tend to follow the herd without listening to our own fears and objections. We rely on the experts about us who claim to know more about the world we live in. We are persuaded to trust appearances even when we sense that they are empty facades or danger lurks beneath the surface. We do not like to admit fear in apprehension of public humiliation. Instead, we bite our lips and continue as instructed, following the advice of those more experienced in the ways of the world. Had the miller's daughter presented the story to her father upon her escape, he probably would have laughed her down and upbraided her as being neurotic. When reality is framed as a dream, that it is accepted as real. Frequently novelists or writers comment on the duplicity of the world. So long as what they present as realistic or factual, it might not be accepted for being too depressing, melodramatic or tragic; but when packaged in a novel, well—that's different. It's credible.

So it is for small children seeking assistance from their parents or teachers after they have been abused by a trusted acquaintance of the family. It couldn't have happened. No one would ever accept that So-und-So molested the girls on the track team, or the doctor assaulted the patient, or the priest molested the children in the sacristy. Imagine the frustration of survivors escaping from mass graves and returning to their villages to warn the others, "They're packing us into cattle cars and making us dig mass graves out in the woods—" Or the frustration of embassy staff who repeatedly tried to warn foreign nations of the violence ongoing under the Nazi Regime. The brutality is beyond human comprehension. How can anyone believe that lampshades were being made out of human skin?

It is only when the miller's daughter relates her story as a dream in the company of others, she can confront the reality of the situation. Only then, does her father recognize her instinctive fear and distrust is valid. We tend to scoff at intuition, but oftentimes, there is very good reason to be afraid and circumspection is warranted. Provide for yourself an escape, if the path looks too removed from society and the company dangerous.

Art Passions: Segur
illustrations by Segur
you may link by html page but not by images
thank-you. You may also send the images as postcards

Jack Zipes
a listing of comparable titles of stories with same themes

How to interpret fairytales according to Jung

Once Upon A Couch
a bibliography for analysis of fairytales
This shelf in Hatter's Classics is stocked with books attempting to analyze fairy tales. Feel free to print out a copy of this for reference. Browse through the titles. Look for them at your local library or bookstore.

Bibliography of Eudora Welty's works
1942 Robber Bridegroom

Mississippi Quarterly: A Bibliography for Robber Bridgroom
related to Eudora Welty's Robber Bridegroom

Maggie Atwood Handmaid's Tale
a dystopian twist on similar theme


6 Feb 2003 Beauty and the Beast: Love Transforms

3 Feb 2003 Beauty and the Beast: Gerneral Background

20 February 2003 Beauty and the Beast : Social Expectation and Womens Roles B

20 Feb 2003 Beauty and the Beast: Social Expectations and Womens' Roles A

16 Dec 2002 Child Abuse and Cinderella: Social Blindness

23 Nov 03 Humperdinck's Children Hansel u Gretel Making Gingerbread B

23 Nov 03 Humperdinck's Children making Gingerbread A

27 Oct 04 Blue Beard

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Flower Stories

2 Oct 04 Flower Stories

Some flowers have stories other than those found in Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass where Lewis Carroll creates his own parodies with Alice trying bavely to go backwards to the future. Andersen also makes use of flowers for parody within his saga, The Snow Queen when Gerda is waylaid and trapped by the old woman into the magical garden where time remains in eternal spring. The roses are buried underground but suddenly bloom when Gerda's hot tears fall to the earth.

Ovid recorded some flower myths in the Metamorphoses, the most famous being Narcissus, the lovely white flower which grows by ponds. In Book IV, Ovid tells the story of Leucothoe who falls in love with the sun. This arouses the jealousy of Clytie who also yearns for the warm embrace of the sun. Leucothoe is buried alive by her father as a consequence of Sol's seduction. The sun hearing her cries from the earth had mercy on her, but could not bring her back to life. To reduce her agony, he tansformed her to a a sweet smelling tree, the Boswellian but her name is transferred to the genus of daisies that litter the meadows in spring—the ox-eyed daisy.

Clytie however, for her wagging tongue, was disdained by he sun and wilted away to become a flower that ever turns its face in yearning to the sun, the heliotrope. But the myth brings an array of gardener's confusion for identification for the sunflower, the marigold and violet and valerian are all associated to this myth as well as the members of the borage family. The helicanthe, the giant sunflower used for birdseed and oils, is a North American native and so adds further confusion to interpretation of the myth.

Moeover, the flower not mentioned in the various seductions of Apollo and Helios/Sol is the dandelion which is known the world around for its golden mane. Not known the origin of the French etymology, the name was always easy for kids to remember as Dandy Lion. The flower is associated to St Francis because it blooms twice and the more you try to stomp it out, the more it flourishes. It is also valuable herbal, providing greens for salads. each part of the flower can be used. The roots have been used to make an ersatz coffee and the flowers are used by Central Europeans to make a fine honey and wine.

Leucothoe—heath family

Leucothoe --ferrerbush

Chrysanthemum Leucothoe Ox-eyed daisy

Wild flowers-Ox-eyed Daisy


valerian pink

Helianthe one of many sunflowers




another very valuble herb

an extremely valuable herb


Dandelion page
to make honey—collect the flowers when they ae heavy with pollen. Place them in a ceramic bowl or ceramic lined pan and cover with water. Add a little sugar for sweetness—using a brown sugar or rougher form of beet sugar is preable to white crystal. squeeze in a taste of lemon juice—one or two lemons. Cover loosely with a dishtowel. wait three days. Strain flowers. Strain again through a fine cotton cloth to catch residue. Simmer slowly until the liquid turns into a fine honey.

Garden of Live Flowers illus

Garden of Flowers
illustrated the illustrations enlarge

University of Virginia Etext Library Through the Looking-Glass
title of contents Published: 1862-1863 illus Tenniel

University of Virginia: Alice in Wonderland 1866

Literature Net : Through the Loooking-Glass
searchable version with short bio of Lewis Carroll


Snow Queen : Old Woman's Garden

Lewis and Alice Expedition Through the Looking-glass