Sunday, February 3, 2008

Russian Fairy Tale the Fiend

The Fiend is perhaps one of the darkest fairy tales around, similar to the Blue Beard motif it is the story of a girl who falls in love with the perfict boy only to find out he is an fiend when she sees him eating a corpse in the grave yard.
The Fiend then goes on to kill both her parents and eventually her, she however manages to come back to life in order to defeat him.
Russia loved ghost stories, and they where very good at creating them perhaps thanks in part to their long winters.
Its interesting to note that the girl after being reserected can't go to church for 4 years, and when her new found husband (not the fiend) makes her go to church they suffer for it.

(Read The Fairy Tale Story)

This makes this story a sort of mixing of two lessons, one is that one should get to know the person before they agree to marry them, the second is a commonality in Fairy tales in general and that is that one should listen to their wife no matter what.
Unlike many of the latter types of tales the fiend has a the characters able to recover from the horror of their predicament.
It is interesting to see how although many have argued fairy tales are sexist they are in fact rarely are, at least not necessarly against girls. In fairy tales girls and boys are both just as likely to be the villions of the story. Whats more by disobaying their wife men will end up misrable this is more evidince that fairy tales where indeed old wives tales, stories told most often by women. One cannot forget however that they where often written down and altered by men, making them an interesting story.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Red Riding Hood Wolves and War

It is likely that in the wilder parts of Europe at one time wolves where not an uncommon sight, though shy around people they will at times watch and follow humans, or move past the village. People would have seen these animals and perhaps not minded them at all, and in some places people may have even spoken with and or revered them.
Wolves are of course predators but like many predators they do not as a rule tend to like the taste of humans.
This however can change, once an animal has eaten human enough they acquire a taste for it and so are more likely to attack, this is not necessarily simply a matter of an animal which is starving, at times it can occur for other reasons.
There are been a number of wars in Europe's history, wars which left many people dead, this often occurred as people began to move and spread out. Further plagues and other diseases often left millions of people dead. This mixed with potential famines gave wolves many opportunities to scavenge corpses, even as very little cubs.
The humans in such a situation could suddenly become food where they had never been food before, thus the reason Little Red might not have realized how bad the wolf was.

Of course there are many interpretations of this story, but the function of this blog is more to communicate random ideas on fairy tales.

Keep in mind that fairy tales change over time as people and cultures change and so many fairy tales are made up of different thoughts and ideas.


I am an artist and psychologist who has been studying fairy tales and folklore for a number of years now. Unlike therapists which have studied this field I am a cross-cultural psychologist who has done research on solid tangible sciences such as physical human health across cultures.

I also have a passion for history and so I constantly attempt to integrate both history and culture into the understanding of folklore, which is obviously constantly growing and changing. Like any social field the study of fairy tales is constantly changing as are the opinions of those doing the research. There is also much disagreement about what different fairy tales mean and used to mean. It is not so metric as my other fields of study, at the same time of course it still requires a person to be reasonable, and logical using what they know of the cultures that the fairy tales came from and historical fact.