Holidays. Eddi was bored. All her mates where off with their parents, travelling, seeing new worlds. Then again, she does not want to miss them. The last day in school before the holidays they had an excursion. At the station Eddi dared to tell that her father was the one who has built the huge display cases in the building. Big laughter. Mockery. Not her. Not the one whose Mum cleans the class rooms. Some are nice. Margeret. She invited her to her home. They talked, deeply, about friendship. Then Astrid claimed to be Margeret's only friend. Anyway. Eddi put the ladder against the hatch that has lead to the attic, her favorite place when she has had peace and leisure to do what ever she wanted. The smell, dry, dusty. something green got her attention. DAS KASLTE HERZ. How exciting!
But, oh man, how much letters, and so small. Eddi was used to shorter stories. She loved The Famous Five in particular, light hearted stories about children privileged in society and well looked after. But this? Then she started reading and quickly forgot about any difficulties in reading it. She immediately was a little charburner looking for his spot in life, but not just reading about him...
When browsing the ds106 page, which I do sometimes, I was surprised, that this year's UMW ds106 course is about folklore, myth, legend. For one of the first week assignments Paul Bond
asks his students to reflect on this theme and I too was very attracted by the idea of doing this. Thus the post.
Many of my favorite stories have their roots in folklore, myth and fairy tales. Here I am greatly attracted by the European Romanticism
, where many writers got back to the magical and unseen, but rather than meaning the past, have related to topics of their present time and moral. Although I like the Story of the "Life of a Good-for-Nothing" by J. Eichendorf
most, which is not really taken as a fairy tale, I want to write about "Heart of Stone" by Wilhelm Hauff
which is definitely meant to be a fairy tale.
I am not sure what are the academic criteria that the one is a fairy tale and the other is not, but the Good-for-Nothing feels more like a person travelling through reality, whereas Heart of Stone goes deep into worlds that never have been seen.
Also the moral of the Good-for-Nothing story is extremely modern and is meant to tell people that the Good-for-nothing is the one who lives the valuable life, because he dares to live instead of burying life under reason. Then again Hauff's Heart of Stone does not really touch any widespread ideas of a valuable life, but gives advice to not miss such a one.
What I am interested in is to have a closer look on how these stories, and Heart of Stone in particular, have influenced my ideas of leading a valuable life and if I should proceed going after a very romantic view on life, or if it might be a bigger adventure to try out different values, maybe from newer stories that can help me proceeding my
travels through time.
Heart of Stone tells the story of a young man, who is poor, but has the chance to speak out wishes to a nature spirit. The wishes immediately become true. He enjoys becoming rich and popular, but for him this was not enough and he gives his heart away to a man who lives deep in the forest in order to get even more riches and a terrific wife. Still, without the warmth of a heart the young man was not able to make her happy. One day she died. With the help of the nature spirit the young man realizes what really makes happy and he got the chance to turn back time to now making the right decisions, which is to accept that being poor is no reason to be unhappy.
|from Bildzitat, Felicitas Kuhn|
A topic very often taken by fairy tales, in great variety. Two of them are the Fisherman and his Wife
, where a magic fish fulfills wishes that lead to riches and back to happiness in a simple life. A completely other light on the topic throws the fairy tale The Steadfast Soldier
, where a poor soldier violently came to riches and a princess wife and with her lives happily ever after. I remember that this story puts me into a big conflict, because I am more the person who thinks being rich might in most cases being bad. Is it like that?
In addition to my conviction that a person only can be a good person if it is a poor person, I do not know any fairy tales or romantic stories, where a woman was the initiative part concerning riches. The romantic woman sits and waits that a man comes along and takes care of her.
Fortunately my passion for romance does not go that far, at least not these days.
What I want to say is, apart from education and influences by the values from your surrounding folklore and fairy tales have a great influence on how someone sets up their life, although there are a great pool of stories you can choose from and if you can not find any that fits into your ideas about life you can write new stories - but choose wisely - as if any story is a wish that can influence your life greatly.
... A restless night. Again and again Eddi woke up, thinking, if she wants to go into adventures caused by strong but doubtful decision or rather do as all the words, written and spoken, say.
How is it to give away your heart for a while? How is it to meet a nature spirit deep in the forest? How is it when you have power over someone? How is it??? Is it like in the stories?
You will only know if you try...