It’s Monday, and that means it is time for ‘This or That?’ Created by Rae at The Bookmark Chronicles, ‘This or That?’ is a weekly post giving a choice between two options, where you choose your answer and post about it, and Rae reveals the cumulative answer of the community on Friday. This week’s topic is…
#30 – Do you prefer original fairy tales or retellings of fairy tales?
This is such a hard one! I love fairy tales as a concept, and I love the morals attached to them, but I also love when they form the basis of a retelling! I have read my fair share of original fairy tales, with my favourites being ‘Bluebeard’ (Charles Perrault), ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve), ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Hans Christian Andersen), ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (Perrault), ‘The Ugly Duckling’ (Andersen) and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ (The Brothers Grimm). I also have enjoyed retellings, such as Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ (my favourite of the collection being ‘The Courtship of Mr Lyon’) and, on the YA front, ‘Sisters Red’ by Jackson Pearce and ‘Beastly’ by Alex Flinn, as well as watching many films that retell fairy tales. The deciding factor in this case is the ending. While many retellings of fairytales tend to be rather cheerful and romanticised on the surface, often the original tales are darker, and sometimes tragic. The older tales also tend to handle moral issues more face-on than retellings, which often skate around the issues or dilute them so much that the story no longer holds as much meaning, and veers towards the romantic rather than the moralistic. I am a fan of the darker, more brutal and sometimes more tragic story that is more frequent in traditional fairy tale (or anti-fairy tale) than in modern retellings. I also think there is something more majestic and captivating in the old tales, whereas retellings have become ten a penny.
Verdict – I prefer traditional fairy tales.