Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Tour with Tales of Faerie (With Once Upon a Blog as Guest): [3] The Grounds

"This morning she decided to amuse herself in the garden, for the sun shone, and all the fountains were playing; but she was astonished to find that every place was familiar to her, and presently she came to the brook where the myrtle trees were growing where she had first met the prince in her dream, and that made her think more than ever that he must be kept a prisoner by the rich beast."
(Madame de Villeneuve)
Welcome back readers. I'm glad you're following along on the tour! Now that I'm dressed a little more practically for the outdoors, let's go get Gypsy and I'll show you all the grounds and gardens.

K: *Calls through french doors*  Gypsy? You there?

G: *hurries outside*  I'm so sorry. There are so many lovely paintings, I lost track of time. Those boots look amazing by the way.

K: Thank you. I do like having an occasion to show them off and they are good for walking the grounds.*links arms with Gypsy* I have so much to show you.

*leads Gypsy toward some formal looking hedges*

G: Is this a maze? And those little statues, wow - they all look like different versions I've seen of the Beast in different books!

K: I do so love to be reminded of the different variations of my Beast. But just to clarify, I am not in any way calling my wonderful husband Tony a Beast...he is a true Prince Charming, in character and appearance!

G: You are a lucky girl. Beasts - and Princes - truly come in many forms. *touches pig-looking snout of a gargoyle thoughtfully* Speaking of variations,  which versions of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale are your favorites and can you tell me a little of how and why you came to love Villeneuve's version so much?

K: One of my favorite things about it is how it answers so many of the questions people have about the fairy tale. Why did the Beast get so upset about a stolen rose? It's all in the Villeneuve story, as well as rich back stories for Beauty and the Beast that describe why the Beast was cursed in the first place, as well as a secret history of Beauty and the faerie folk most people aren't aware of!

G: You wrote a post recently on roses in fairy tales - which appear often. Are there things you think you've learned as a direct result of their being part of the Beauty and the Beast tale?

K: Roses can symbolize so many different things, even from version to version of the tale. Beauty's request for a rose was supposed to indicate her appreciation of nature over materialistic things. Yet in the Disney version, the rose is linked to the Beast's life and represents a ticking clock in which Belle has to break the spell, adding a heightened sense of tension. Roses are on the one hand simple, wild, and innocent, yet at the same time represent passion, romance, and luxurious decadence. They are multi-faceted, just like the tale itself!

G: What might say to you "this is a Beauty & the Beast scene"? (For example, motifs, iconic scenes etc)

K: Well, obviously roses and a castle! Some of my favorite interpretations of the castle have a more eerie, almost creepy interpretation of the magic there, such as the disembodied hands holding torches in the Cocteau film. And of course one of those scenes would have to be a library, like the one Beast gifted Belle with in the Disney version! In fact, let's head in the direction of the Tales Of Faerie library now. We'll take the long way round so I can show you my favorite roses before we get there though.

G: Ooh - yes please!

K: We'll meet everyone else there around mid-afternoon, say 4 o'clock-ish? I've asked for coffee and refreshments to be waiting for us.

G: Perfect!

Note: All illustrations used, unless otherwise indicated, are from the picture book version of Beauty and the Beast, written by Max Eilenberg, Illustrated by the amazing Angela Barrett (2006).

Next stop: [4] THE LIBRARY 

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