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Lecture

ENGB31 Lecture Notes - Pupa, Nfkb1, Will Eisner


Department
English
Course Code
ENGB31
Professor
Natalie Rose

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March 25
Short stories cont’d…
A.S Byatt’s postmodern fairytales
“The Glass Coffin”
o having gold at site but not accessible visibility but there is a
distance and requires a quest to get there
women in the case with flowy wavy hair
being able to see it but not have it
“The Glass Coffin,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Snow Queen”
:fire/ice opposition
o “I think I knw, even then [as a child], that there was something
secretly good, illicitly desirable, about the ice-hills and glass
barriers” (Byatt)
In fairytales glass represents death and states of sleep
Reason for this beautiful woman is in glass coffin is because
she refuses to marry the black magician and wants to stay/”
be preserved” in this childhood state
Often protected from the dark magician;
What’s the attraction of ice and glass in this story?
o Choose glass key because he is a craftsman
o Not endless food, etc.
o Had no idea of what it was and what it’d do; curiosity wins over
Choosing the unknown and choosing adventure over
material needs
Ice and glass in a way of enclosing but also can be a way of
liberation
When the taylor kills the black magician, almost like he’s
using the black magician’s art against himself takes his
tools and subtlety “rewriting it”
The choice of the glass key: “because he was a craftsman and could see
that it
“Though why you should have me, simply because I opened the glass
case, is less clear to me altogether… [.] I trust you will feel free to
reconsider the matter, and remain, if you will, alone or unwed…’ And you
may ask yourselves, my dear and most innocent readers, whether he
spoke there with more gentleness or cunning since the lady set such ” […]
o giving her the free will
o taylor is not desperately keen on getting married
The Grimms’ ending: “Her joy was still more increased when her brother,
who had killed the magician in the form of the biull, came out of the forest
towards them in his human form […]”
“And so it was, and they did live happily ever after. The young man and
his sister went hunting in the wild woods, and the little tailor, whose
inclination did not lie that way, stayed by the hearth and was merry with
them in the evenings. Only one thing was missing. A craftsman is nothing
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without the exercise of his craft. So he orderedt o be brought to him the
finest silk cloth and brilliant threads, and made for pleasure what he had
once needed to make for harsh necessity”
o downplaying of the structure of the heroic quest
o he didn’t marry up, he is still doing his craft doesn’t change
anybody just because he married up
o his ability to choose to save her and let her choose to marry him or
not
choose what he wants for the sake of his own will
once he chosen the plot, he’s in the plot
o reconcile and rewrite the marriage plot with art and craft
“The conflict between a female destiny, the kiss, the marriage, the child-
bearing, the death, and the frightening loneliness of cleaverness, the cold
distance of seeing […]
o accept the plot of marrying and then dying or being in the cold
glass of art
“The Story of the Eldest Princess”
“Fairy tales are closed systems, that is what makes thems o terrifying”
(Cees Nootebooom)
o Narratve determinism
o “I could just walk out of this inconvenient story and go on my own
way. I could just leave the Road and look for my own adventures in
the forest. It would make not difference to the Quest”
In what ways does she change her story an to what effect?
o Umans believed deeply in their agency;
o P43: believe to change the person
o What you do affect the world affects the princess
o P44 Quest is regarded as the form of agency; witch and wizards
o Being self-conscious, knowing you are in a story is the first step to
change the quest
One of first creatures she meets
The scorpion (helps it because it is injured)
o Feminine caring
o She knows that princesses tend to be proud and rude so she acts
the opposite
The fowler, the hunting party, the huntsman
The huntsman
Come live with me and be my love
And share my house and share my bed
And you may sing from dawn to dark
And churn the cream and bake the bread
And lie at night in my strong arms
Beneath a soft goosefeather spread.
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