Do you think that the fairy tales are made for children? You are wrong. You are four times wrong.
- Tales are not purely fiction. They are constructions through fiction.
- They are not fairy tales. Their own realities are constructed.
- You do not have to believe them. They believe in themselves. This belief creates the pure real facts of the life.
- Tales are not for children. They are read by children so that children will have prejudices when they will be grownups- so that we grown ups can hide ourselves behind these lies.
Above text is from the presentation introduction of theatre play “Home.” It is the summary of what I am going to tell below.
In fact, my literary life started with fairy tales. They prepared my foundation, they lullaby me and today’s Orhan’s literary style emerged.
Today I am going to tell you about the tales of the fairy tales. Then I will end my article with my deconstructed fairy tale from my fantastic stories book “Touched” by Dixi Books.
I want to give you a clue on why I am so much interested on this side of fairy tales. Following lines are describing me and it is from the back cover of my second short story book “Aşk Sağanağı”- Love shower in Turkish language.
The literary work that I like most is not a kind that is a familiar style prose, not an inversion. Maybe poetry. What I like best in a text is irony, fantasy, expectation for unexpected.
In the beginning they taught us to construct the prose, to obey to authority, to wake up in the morning and to sleep at night. Then we learned inversion, freedom, not to sleep at nights.
Our families pointed south, our mates pointed north, our friends pointed east, our bosses pointed west; expecting the directions they pointed would be the one and only target for us.
By myself, or all together with others or maybe as nobody, I am smashed into pieces without even recognizing anything and without recognizing that I was in fond of absurdity, fantasy in writing, reading, talking.
So, the book I like to read is the disturbing type
So, the act I select is the surprising life
So, forgive me my dear reader
What I wrote above
Shaped what I think, what I think shaped what I write
We may prefer a classical approach for fairy tales. We may say that we take lessons from them; we sleep well after reading them; we become happier because they have happy endings. Or we can play the devil’s advocate.
Here, I do not want to depress you by talking about the originals of famous fairy tales. The ones who are interested may investigate and find out committed murders and unwanted pregnancies of the woman tale heroes.
I will criticize the tales that were smoothly redesigned for children. These will be the criticisms that the devil whispered into my ears.
There may be a waggish devil that whispered the following:
- Little feet are advantageous at the seasonal sales and in finding princes. (Cindrella.)
- It is shameful to leave your little friends who saved you so that you will marry a prince. (Snow White.)
- Girls do not get old when they sleep. Beauty sleep is a fact. Sleep makes you beautiful (Sleeping Beauty.)
- Even if he is trying to save you, you will not benefit from the prince who pulls your hair. (Rapunzel.)
There may be a serious devil that whispered the following:
- Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White are tales about the young girls yielded to their vicious fates. Their liberations depend on the handsome princes that are going to find them. These poor girls are weak and very beautiful. They are lucky that powerful princes will rescue them.
- In Puss in Boots a cat in elegant boots explains how to be successful by bribing, acting cunningly and deceiving others by lies. The cat also emphasizes that good package (elegant dress) will impress others although content may be valueless.
- In the crow and the fox tale it is explained how to exploit people by praising them. There is a mistake in this tale, because the crow is described as a fool character. In fact crows are the wisest animals of the animal kingdom.
As you can see from above explanations, the massages of fairy tales are controversial. Let me give you a last sample from the Middle East story 1001 Nights. See how women are humiliated!
“Rely not on women. Trust not to their hearts, whose joys and sorrows are hung to their parts! Lying love they will swear thee whence guile never departs. Take Yusuf for sample. With her sleights and smarts the devil ousted Adam. See you not; with her arts?”
Translation of Richard F. Burton.
So, I can’t stand the pressure on me and I deconstructed Snow White. After reading my fairy tale, I hope you are going to sleep well.
Once upon a time, there were three dwarfs. (Actually, there were seven, but no one can remember what happened to the other four.) The first dwarf could jump the highest, the second one could jump the furthest, and the third one could dive in the deepest. The first one caught birds, the second one hunted rabbits, and the third one snatched fishes. They had a nice peaceful life—until they met Snow White.
It was an autumn night. There were dark clouds in the sky, the leaves were yellow, the streets were empty, and the dwarfs were on their way home to their lonely house. Well, they thought it was lonely, but it wasn’t really.
They were good dwarfs who supported each other, but they had one little shortcoming; they were illiterate. As such, they hadn’t read the book Snow White. If they had read it, they would have known that one day they would find the princess inside their lonely home. Of course, the house was only lonely when all the dwarfs were outside together.
On that autumn night, the first dwarf carried a bird, the second carried a rabbit, the third carried a fish, and I carried my notebook and pencil. We carefully entered the hut together as the door was already open. Inside, Snow White was sleeping on the bed, as written in the tale. Too big for one, she pushed the dwarfs’ three beds together so that she could fit. And although the dwarfs whispered to each other, they soon woke her. She sat up, rubbed her eyes, and saw us looking at her.
“Where are the four other beds?” she asked. “It wasn’t easy fitting into three beds. My back is aching.”
The first dwarf answered, “Why seven beds? There are three of us. We have three beds.”
Angry, Snow White said, “Do not lie. There are seven dwarfs in the tale. They are Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, Sneezy and Dopey.”
“Which tale?” asked the second dwarf.
“All of you are uncouth and illiterate!” Snow White shouted.
The third dwarf said, “Look at her! She entered our home without permission and now she scolds us.”
Snow White left the bed, the room, and the hut. She started running and shouting, “You are insolent. I am going back to my tale!”
She was too far away to see three apples fall from the tree outside the dwarf’s hut. The dwarfs happily picked them up and ate them. Snow White didn’t deserve to eat them. She’s not the hero of this tale…
Note: At the end of the oriental fairy tales three apples always fall: one for the writer, one for the reader one for the hero. You may say that this is not an oriental story. Who cares? I like apples.