#fairy tales Tumblr posts

  • When the gods were young, a Duchess was given a message by a silver horse, and as fate foretold evil was vanquished.

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  • For the new workshop, I need resources I didn’t have when I was preparing classes to teach live, such as pictures and portraits and other visuals to convey things in videos. This is the story of my slow descent into desperation, peppered with some fairy tale history for you.  

    With Madame d’Aulnoy, it happened for a long time that when you googled her you got a painting called The White Hat from 1780 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (which is sometimes even wrongly adjudicated to other artists I’m not naming to avoid confusion) in which there’s a young lady with a hat and a boob out. 

    Look, I wouldn’t put it past Madame D to pose tits out, but by 1780 she had been dead for 75 slutty years, so yeah, not her. Maybe someone mixed up the painting’s title (Le Chapeau blanc) with the title of one of d’Aulnoy’s stories (La Chatte blanche) and then it spiraled. Nowadays the painting still shows up on google with her name and some people even made paperback editions of stories by d’Aulnoy with the painting. The confused folks who used it to depict d’Aulnoy cropped the boob out, though, so that’s not on the paperbacks. 

    Now, you might think “that’s really inconvenient and also pretty shitty that she gets associated with some other random lady in a google search and the actual painter doesn’t even get proper credit”. And you’d be right. 

    But, at least, she isn’t Laura Gonzenbach. 

    Laura Gonzenbach. Awesome gal, incredible traditional tales compiler, has a cool fairy tale about a girl who uses nature to get back to an abusive prince who took her by force and threatens to get him chocked by a snake. 

    A German scholar was like ‘hey, I need a couple of Sicilian folk stories for a book about Sicily I’m putting together, can you send some?’ and Laura, who spoke 4 languages and had been educated by her suffragist sister who put up a school for women, because they weren’t allowed on university at the time, was like ‘sure’. 

    She Went In, complied 92 stories, mostly from female narrators of poor means who didn’t write themselves. Hartwig, the German scholar, was like ‘damn girl, you should publish this asap’ and she was like ‘k’ and got it published in German in 1870. It became one of the largest compilations of folk stories made by a woman in the XIX century. She included all those things male compilers either took out or romanticized, like abuse, violence, imprisonment and murder committed to women and children but, more than anything, all the stories women told to express themselves, but without adding the morals and ideals of the aristocracy that people like Perrault had. She died at age 36 but nobody knows how because the records of her death got lost in an earthquake in 1908. 

    Anyway, Laura Gonzenbach, love that bitch, one of my top faves fairy tale compilers. You know who doesn’t love her though? The fucking internet. 

    If you google Laura, you’ll see a photo of a young woman. Google puts it there because it shows up in like 25 million pinterests that state that’s Laura Gonzenbach. The portrait was taken by Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden and it shows up in searches a million times with two different dates: 1897 and 1903. Laura Gonzenbach died in 1878. 

    The first date comes from a 2015 blog post of a book author who made a tiny article about Jack Zipes’s edition of Laura’s stories and the biggest picture on the post is this portrait. She didn’t credit the photographer, she put the source as National Geographic Collection, but not a link, and she called it “Sicilian girl”.

    If you go to NatGeo and look for the photographer, you’ll find the photo labeled as “Portrait of a Sicilian girl”, but without a date. Where did the date come from? Only this person knows. This post is the one that shows up in some of the pinterest posts that come up first in search, and certainly the ones that label the photo as being of Laura, because the post was about Laura, but the photo was not

    The second date comes from pinterest, again. This time, the photo is labeled as  “a Sicilian girl, 1903″ and the source is, because why would it be any other fucking way, tumblr dot com. The post in question has said label, does not name photographer and its source is, listen to this: pinterest again. So pinterest -> tumblr -> pinterest. Pinterest #2 mentions as source a site that’s defunct and that may or may not have been partnered to natgeo. 

    Another pinterest choice names that 1903 date, the name of the portrait and the name of the photographer and also came from tumblr. But it was pinned from the “Sicily” tag and not the post itself. I’ve tried as much as I could to find it through the text but all I get is more and more pinterest results of it and nothing on tumblr proper. Maybe the post got deleted, maybe tumblr blocked the blog entirely after the ban, because a lot of the portraits from that photographer are nudes, he was known for homoerotic depictions of young men, sometimes too young, and some other racy shit that I’m not getting into.  

    Another pin I found looking for it dates it again as 1897, but the source didn’t list the date, it was added by the guy who pinned it. From where? who knows. 

    I’ve stopped looking because I can’t even find which of the two dates is correct (I’m totally including this misshap in my video because I need people to know FACTS) but, in any way, Laura was dead and buried by the time whichever date happened, we have no records but we have a tombstone, and I’m certain this girl in the photo is not her anyway, because she would have been older by this time had she magically survived and was hidden somewhere living her best life instead of dead at 36. 

    To end this post I’ll just say: SOURCE YOUR SHIT PROPERLY. GIVE CREDIT PROPERLY. RESPECT PEOPLE. Do it for Laura Gonzenbach. 

    #i needed to vent #luly rambles #I'm only tagging this with her name so if anyone is looking for the photo knows that's up #laura gonzenbach#long post#fairy tales #I know you don't like my long posts but I need to
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  • Before the gods were born, a knight named Marguerite created a shining doll. She fought a iridescent serpent, and as all feared the snow melted away.

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  • A long time ago, there was a witch named Marian. She was given a message by a quicksilver sparrow. She journeyed for a year and a day and wanted a dragon, and in the end it rained for three days and nights.

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  • @cunning-and-cool asked for folklore examples of people selling and winning back their souls and I am more than happy to babble about the devil as a folkloric archetype.

    Although he does often seem to take the place of some nature spirit or other pre-Christian creature, the fun is that this just means the Devil behaves like a creature that can be beaten by mortal cleverness.

    The classic things to trade a soul for with the devil in fairy tales are wealth and superhuman feats or objects. Medieval legends are often more serious and also trade for power, fame, (occult) knowledge, youth and sometimes a love interest. These are not as fun though and often the person loses their soul permanently (as in Faust) or save their soul through faith and penance (as in Mariken van Nieumeghen).

    I actually studied both of those in school, but let’s stick to fairy tales for now. I have a couple of types for you:

    • A trade of appearance for wealth.
    • Fooling the devil with impossible tasks.
    • Cheating the devil with his own bargain.
    • The devil as a builder.

    Keep reading

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  • Many and many a year ago, a bear created a silvered sword, a girl yearned for a harpy, and as all hoped all lived happily ever after.

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  • When grandmothers were young, a goosegirl followed a pearlescent jackdaw, and as was destined the fairies were restored.

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  • Many and many a year ago, a girl named Leliana happened upon a creeping sword. She hunted a silk sparrow, and as fate foretold all lived happily ever after.

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  • Before Coyote stole the sun, a Lady was poisoned by a monstrous fish, and finally magic was saved.

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  • When the earth was born, an innkeeper named Minerva tripped over a portentous vest. She fled a midnight lizard, and as fate foretold it rained for three days and nights.

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  • When the gods were young, a fish made a goosegirl a silver plate, and suddenly prosperity reigned.

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  • When the seas were empty, there was a thief named Geraldine. She was awakened by a silent snake. She wept for the stars and fought a goosegirl, and suddenly prosperity reigned.

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    Lea Seydoux in Beauty and the Beast.

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  • In a kingdom by the sea, by the order of a sorceress, a Princess was blessed by an owl, and as the oracle knew the forest grew over all.

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  • In a kingdom by the sea, a Princess named Circe happened upon a pearlescent figurine. She bore a copper cardinal, and as the oracle knew magic was saved.

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  • Once upon a time, there was a child named Katrina. She was chased by a shining coyote. She wore a sunset dress and fought a fairy, and in the end the forest grew over all.

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  • Once upon a time, there was a Queen named Sophronia. She was chased by a black wolf. She wore a golden dress and wished for an elf, and unexpectedly prosperity reigned.

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