Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I re-read Robin McKinley's first book, "Beauty," a retelling of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." I think this is the best book of her career because of its simple, strong prose. Most of her subsequent work delves into prose-y language, like a peony the keeps on blooming and the writer is the ant that scurries in and out of the petals.
I haven't read her Newberry award winning stuff, preferring to stick with her fairy tale oeuvre (is that the proper use of the word?). Retellings of fairy tales and myths are my deeply favorite works of literature. Jorge Luis Borges says that we use the same metaphors for things, such as comparing death to sleep, even if we might embellish the metaphors or approach them from different angles, because they ring true. The same is true for retellings. Approaching an archetypal story from various probings, we seek to glean all we can from the story, learning about ourselves and each other in the process.

2 comments:

dwain said...

Eloquently put and wonderfully cited.

Also, correct use of oeuvre.

dwain said...

By the way, what story/essay is that from? Is it Pascal's sphere one? If so, what a coincidence because it's one of his that I hadn't read until last night!