Re: McKinley: Where in the world are the McKinley fans?

From: Katherine Hartsough <>
Date: Sat Aug 07 1999 - 19:30:59 PDT

  I agree about the fallible characters being a big + in retellings. I
really liked Dean's Tam Lin, by the way! However, I think it's not just the
imperfection, which we can all relate to, but also the added depth. In a
fairly long retelling, there is room for all the motivations, emotions, etc.
that just aren't present in the short fairytales. It's like putting 2D
characters in the 3D, or adding shadows and highlights to a painting. In
the retelling, it's the characters that really attract, rather than the
story. Of course, this is all my opinion. It makes me think of the Disney
movies- the early ones, like Sleeping Beauty (which I loved because of the
beautiful drawings of the woods, etc.) had beautiful characters that seemed
to have little thought going through their brains, especially the female
main characters. I think in the later ones, though I still have complaints,
these characters have more spunk and depth. In other words, the female
characters approach the McKinley type (though IMO, they have a long way to

>From: Tawen Chang <>
>Subject: Re: McKinley: Where in the world are the McKinley fans?
>Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 12:54:45 -0400
> >Just out of interest, what do you find the most appealing about the
> >fairytale anyway? I'm interested because I'm writing a short novella for
> >Honours - joining the ever-increasing list of people who have dabbled in
> >rewrites....
>Hmm.... This may sound childish and corny. I think I like fairy tales so
>much because so many of them are about transformations or coming-of-age
>stories. A lot of times I feel like growing up is kind of like a quest,
>and fairy tales make me feel that it's not such a scary thing because
>things will be o.k. if you just be true to yourself, do the best you can,
>etc., etc.. (And i feel growing up is pretty scary; there are times when i
>have wished that i can skip the next ten years of my life so i can skip all
>the fumbling towards being adult and just KNOW what the heck i am doing.)
>Ug. I am expressing this very badly. Am i making any sense?
>This is why i like re-tellings so much better than the originals. In the
>original, the main character is usually way too virtuous. (I don't mean
>that I don't like nice people, just that when someone is INCAPABLE of doing
>the wrong thing, somehow there's no achievement in doing the right thing.)
>Annoys me the same way Nancy Drew annoyed me when she learned to play the
>bagpipes in one afternoon and used it to solve the mystery the next day.
>In the re-tellings, the heroines are normal people. Most of them are nice,
>but they are not the repositories of all virtues. (This is why I really
>liked Janet in Pamela Dean's _Tam Lin_. She's neurotic, not particularly
>understanding, but she means well and she tries really hard.) And I like
>the fact that when they make a choice, there are consequences that they
>might not want that they'll have to live with. Like Janet's pregnancy, or
>Beauty in Rose Daughter giving up being wise and famous. sort of like
>fairy tales with a dose of reality.
>tawen, who'll be really embarrassed tomorrow to have written this drivel.
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Received on Sat Aug 7 19:32:40 1999

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