Today, I have the pleasure of hosting j.a. kazimer, the author of the hilarious twisted fairy tale Curses! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale. (See my review here: Spoiler alert! I liked it.) Julie has agreed to talk about the enduring nature of fairy tales. Welcome!
Cinderella Did It! A New Look at Fairytales or Is It?
By j.a. kazimer
The prince leans in to kiss his sleeping princess…a swell of music rises…seven vertically challenged and much too literally named men gasp…lips touch lips…
The sleepy princess grabs the prince by the throat, sinking her very sharp and pointy teeth into his main vein, before tossing him away like yesterday’s poisoned apple.
Welcome to the new world of fairy tales. Sort of.
The famous quote by Chesterton, “There are no new ideas” is proven time and again, but never more so than with the genre of fairy tales. And that’s what makes these stories so powerful and important to society. They are a lesson in morality, in behavior, in the will to wish upon a star, so we reimagine them, form them to fit our needs and our world.
Fairy tales have a long tradition of reimagining. The Brothers Grimm did just that, in fact. They took fables handed down from mother to daughter and father to son and wrote what has come to be the fairy tale bible, “Kinder- und Hausmärchen“ Also known as Children’s and Household Tales. This collection, published 200 years ago, featured 86 tales. Tales we now all know and love. Tales like Cinderella, The Frog King, and Rapunzel. Tales that now writers are retooling and retelling.
Writing styles and forms grow and fade on the whims of readers‘ taste, and yet, fairytales endure. Disney has endured many an economic turndown when other businesses have failed. Why? Because the whole concept of the Disney company is whimsy. Readers, moviegoers, and couch potatoes long for this whimsy in our entertainment. We want the beauty of fairytale worlds, the good versus evil battle to the death, the recipe for poisoned apple strudel.
And this year, well, this year, we will get it as television shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, movies like Mirror, Mirror, and books like Cinder reimagine the genre all over again. What an exciting time to live happily ever after.
j.a. kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. With a Master’s degree in forensic psychology, j.a. has worked as a private investigator, bartender, and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Books include The Junkie Tales (2010), The Body Dwellers (2011), CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale (2012), and Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons (coming in 2012). The next book in the F***ed Up Fairy Tale series, Froggy-Style, is forthcoming from Kensington in 2013.