George John Pinwell, The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Tapestry King Arthur

Tapestry King Arthur

Honoré Daumier
Don Quixote

Don Quixote, Honore Daumier

All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of
    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Builders Verse 1
  From The Seaside and the

ODQ 315 : 28

John Everett Millais, The Knight Errant

Fairy Tale and Myth

Journeys and Arrivals


As my poor father used to say
    In 1863,
Once people start on all this Art
    Goodbye moralitee !
And what my father used to say
Is good enough for me.
  — A.P. Herbert (1890-1971) [Sir Alan Patrick Herbert]
    Lines for a Worthy Person
        ODQ 243 : 2

*   *   *   *   *

Of course Wikipedia has an exhaustive list of Fairy Tales; we would expect no less.   But in this case there is another website source, SurlaLune, which also gives information about illustrations (I can't believe I'm writing these words), and the original books in which words and pictures were contained.   I've fallen in love with Henry J. Ford and his illustrations.   They're so familiar ...

Memory is a strange, unaccountable and treacherous thing.

When reading my chosen English translation of East of the Sun and West of the Moon,  (Source: Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe), I always hear a certain voice, that of a male Norwegian acquaintance, ever so slightly inflected, harking back unmistakeably to the oral tradition of preserving Fairy Tales.

The girl said "No!" outright. Nothing could get her to say anything else; so the man went out and settled it with the white bear, that he should come again the next Thursday evening and get an answer.
    Meantime he talked to his daughter, and kept on telling her of all the riches they would get, and how well off she herself would be. At last she agreed to it, so she washed and mended her rags, and made herself as smart as she could. Soon she was ready for the trip, for she didn't have much to take along.
    The next Thursday evening came the white bear to fetch her. She got on his back with her bundle, and off they went. After they had gone a good way, the white bear said, "Are you afraid?"
    No, she wasn't.
    "Just hold tight to my shaggy coat, and there's nothing to be afraid of," said the bear.

. . . . .

"Perhaps you are the one who should have had the prince?" said the old woman.
    Yes, that she was.
    But she didn't know the way any better than the other two. She knew it was east of the sun and west of the moon, but that was all.
    "And you'll get there too late or never; but I'll lend you my horse, and then I think you'd best ride to the east wind and ask him; maybe he knows his way around those parts, and can blow you there. When you get to him, just give the horse a switch under the left ear, and he'll trot home by himself."
    She too gave her her golden spinning wheel. "Maybe you'll find a use for it," said the old woman.
    She rode many weary days, before she got to the east wind's house, but at last she did reach it, and she asked the east wind if he could tell her the way to the prince who lived east of the sun and west of the moon. Yes, the east wind had often heard tell of it, the prince and the castle, but he didn't know the way there, for he had never blown so far.
    "But, if you want, I'll go with you to my brother the west wind. Maybe he knows, for he's much stronger. If you will just get on my back I'll carry you there."
    Yes, she got on his back, and off they went in a rush.

But if East of the Sun is resolutely from a handed-down-through-the-millenia oral tradition, Amor and Psyche is no less obviously the one-time product of a magnificent writer, masterfully translated from the original Latin.   I've been unable to resist giving excerpts in my Amor and Psyche webpage, and won't spoil their impact by repeating out of context.

Introduction-2A:— Fairy Tale
Left Column Quotation:
  Our deeds still travel with us from afar ... what we are.
       — George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans] (1819-1880)
Middlemarch, Ch.70
Oxford Dictionary of Quotations [ODQ] 196 : 21

Introduction-2B:— Myth
  Let there be light! said Liberty ... Athens arose!
        — Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
Hellas, l. 682
ODQ 493 : 24

Fairy Tale and Pride and Prejudice
  And a bird overhead sang Follow ... And the meaning of May was clear.
        — Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
An Interlude
ODQ 524 : 8

East of the Sun and West of the Moon
We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms ...
       — William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Antony and Cleopatra (1623)
ODQ 424 : 3

May I be forgiven a request that the viewer of this webpage spend a moment or two clicking through the Wikipedia Antony and Cleopatra link in order to examine the Wikimedia Commons painting Antony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912).   What I find striking is the similarity to illustrations for The Arabian, or Thousand and One Nights.

East of the Sun and Pride and Prejudice
The night has a thousand eyes and the heart but one ...
The mind has a thousand eyes and the heart but one ...
       — Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921)
ODQ 79 : 5

Myth and Pride and Prejudice
Words may be false and full of art,
Sighs are the natural language of the heart.
       — Thomas Shadwell (1642-1692),
appointed poet laureate in 1689, superceding John Dryden
      Psyche, Act III
ODQ 422 : 27

Amor and Psyche
    The young ladies entered the drawing room in the full fervour of sisterly animosity.
       — Robert Smith Surtees (1803-1864)
Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour (1853), Ch. 17
ODQ 518 : 39

A bit of an anticlimax after the poet laureate, but the temptation couldn't be resisted.

Amor and Psyche and Pride and Prejudice
  Thy Naiad airs have brought me home ...that was Rome.
      — Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
ODQ 380 : 17

. . . . .

Previous Page, Pictures:— Fairy Tale and Myth
In the elder days of Art ... the Gods see everywhere.
    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Builders, Verse 5
    From The Seaside and the Fireside
ODQ 315 : 28

This Page, References:— Fairy Tale and Myth
All are architects of Fate ... Some with ornaments of rhyme.
    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Builders, Verse 1
    From The Seaside and the Fireside

Only Verse 5 is contained in my elderly copy of the ODQ (Second Edition, 1955).   I believe Verse 1 should have been also; rhyme may not be as spectacular as Art, but needs only a tiny amount of storage space in the mind.   On the other hand, we make poor curators for poetry — and quotations in general — since we seldom remember them correctly.

[WebPage last amended March 4th, 2013]


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