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BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales

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NINE GOLD MEDALS
WALKIN ON MY WHEELS
YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT TO LOOK AT ME


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GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Mar 13 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Mar 13 - 06:54 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 10:07 PM
CapriUni 18 May 12 - 05:59 PM
CapriUni 11 Mar 12 - 07:21 PM
CapriUni 21 Jan 12 - 08:51 PM
CapriUni 15 Dec 11 - 10:14 PM
CapriUni 09 Dec 11 - 05:59 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Dec 11 - 10:00 PM
Melissa 08 Dec 11 - 06:22 PM
CapriUni 08 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM
CapriUni 04 Dec 11 - 08:59 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Dec 11 - 08:42 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Dec 11 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,999 04 Dec 11 - 06:53 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Dec 11 - 06:43 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Dec 11 - 05:09 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Dec 11 - 06:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Dec 11 - 06:15 PM
CapriUni 03 Dec 11 - 04:28 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Dec 11 - 08:14 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Dec 11 - 08:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Dec 11 - 08:54 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Dec 11 - 08:25 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Dec 11 - 08:13 PM
CapriUni 01 Dec 11 - 07:29 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Dec 11 - 06:15 PM
CapriUni 01 Dec 11 - 12:59 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 26 Nov 11 - 06:04 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 Nov 11 - 10:26 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 Nov 11 - 10:15 PM
CapriUni 03 Nov 11 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Nov 11 - 10:20 AM
CapriUni 02 Nov 11 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 02 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 02 Nov 11 - 05:42 AM
CapriUni 31 Oct 11 - 05:32 PM
CapriUni 24 Oct 11 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Mrr at work 24 Oct 11 - 04:25 PM
CapriUni 23 Oct 11 - 07:22 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Oct 11 - 07:23 AM
CapriUni 11 Oct 11 - 09:01 PM
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CapriUni 10 Oct 11 - 08:49 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Oct 11 - 08:36 PM
CapriUni 10 Oct 11 - 07:53 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 06:56 PM

*something*.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 06:54 PM

Another one I thought of was Tolkien's story, The Children of Hurin, which dates back to 1910, and is the source of my username. Turin has a close friend called Sador, who he nicknames Labadal ("Hopfoot") because Sador lost a foot while carving osmehting.

Also; the Norse god Odin has only one eye.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 10:07 PM

Great to see you updating your blog, Capri.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 May 12 - 05:59 PM

OOh! I forgot to update this thread with my latest postings.

Here's the entry for April: The Pied Piper of Hamlin -- the Children Left Behind

And May: "But these things are Monsters" -- The Etymologiae of Saint Isidore

(This second one is my annual contribution to Blogging Against Disablism Day)


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 07:21 PM

Finally -- I've gotten a new post up: The Goose-Girl at the Well (Feelings of Distrust and Duty toward the Elderly and Disabled)

I meant for this to be a February post, but instead, February passed without a single blog entry. This is my failing.

I also wanted to write up my own retelling, because I love the story enough to want to get inside it like that. But every time I sat down to translate Google auto-'bot translation into Actual English, my energy and attention would flag every three sentences, or so. So I ended up just reposting translation from a Good Victorian Lady, instead.

If I had done that to start with, it would have been a February post.

BTW, my blog will be a year old on April 24...


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 08:51 PM

And now, I have, in fact, posted my piece on The Steadfast Tin Soldier (The disabled would be happiest 'with their own kind')


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 10:14 PM

My latest post is up:


Mary's Child: The Privilege of Speech and Human Identity

Okay, which story should I do next, right before Christmas -- The Steadfast Tin Soldier (The soldier is Special, 'cause he only has One Leg, and he's the Bravest of All), or The Ugly Duckling (because of how it frames Difference Within the Family, and how it's used to "comfort" children who are going through illness and/or disability: "But if you're brave, and soldier through, you will Grow Out Of It, and be handsome and admired." Also, I think it was the trope source for "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer," but that latter one is outside the scope of my blog)?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 05:59 PM

Melissa -- yes, it is!

Morwen, I think so, too. I'll have to reread the story (haven't read it in many years) before I come to any conclusion about the sort of disability experience it reflects, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 10:00 PM

CapriUni, do you consider The Seven Ravens to be a tale about disability? Losing a finger certainly counts to me


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: Melissa
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:22 PM

That's an exciting idea!


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM

(This is a question that's been in my head the last couple of weeks, and I started posting about it in my personal journal-community last night. Then, I figured that some of the Mudcatters around here might have some experience, and ideas, about this.)


On Sunday, November 27th, I was having lunch with my long time friend and writing mentor, Irene O'Garden, who founded The Art Garden, and she asked me what writing, other than The Art Garden, that I've been doing. So I started talking about Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream.

And another guest there, Scott Laughead (edited to add: Be advised-- his site has a bright, busy, high-contrast background), got really excited by the idea of what I was doing, and said that I should find a partner, and apply for a grant to support my work on this, because it's important (And that getting a partner would make it easier to get a grant, because it would show potential donors that this is more than just a pet peeve or private pipe dream or fantasy).

I agree that it's important; I truly believe that participating in storytelling (in whatever medium, and whether as teller or audience) is central to our humanity, and that the stories we tell have a profound impact on the realities we bring about. And yes, noticing that the Experience of Disability can be found in folklore (and literature) is one way to acknowledge that Disability is part of human experience. Period. And it's about time we got over the idea that the Disabled are always rare exceptions, and this whole, new "politically correct" thing that we have to change everything for, out of the blue, because some do-gooder got a bee in her bonnet...

And seriously? even the idea that someone might give me money to do something I've loved ever since I can remember loving stuff is a downright heady and intoxicating idea.

But --

Bwah?

Turning Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream into something that would even make sense to use grant money would mean turning it into some form that engages the Capital P "Public," in some way (and that makes the idea very Scary [Capital S]). And right now, it's very much a private, editorial, thing: just my private opinions, based on my own experience (very real and valid, but also limited).

How do I change PNAD from a private noun into a public verb, so to speak?

I'm tickled by the idea, but I'm also stumped.

Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 08:59 PM

I remember that ravens tale (and yes, it's Grimms/German); as I recall, the heroine had to cut off one of her fingers in order to use it as a key to unlock the prison in which the ravens were being held.


As for Ravens in German / Norse mythology, Odin (ruler of the Norse Aesir gods) had two ravens, which flew around the Earth and reported back to him in the evenings. Their names were (via English translation): "Thought" and "Memory," and Odin was always afraid that they'd fly off one day and never return.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 08:42 PM

Wiki on "Seven Ravens" says that the Grimms changed it to seven brothers/ravens. "In the original [German] oral version" (probably the one that the Grimms collected) "there were three ravens". So the Grimms made the heroine's silence period longer; the condition is always that the heroine stay silent for as many years as she has brothers. Probably this was done to create suspense? By lengthening the silence period, the reader can wait to see how long she will comply with it. Something like that. There is also a Greek version of the same story.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 08:33 PM

Thanks 999! I thought it was English, because all the books that I've read which mention ravens are set in England.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 06:53 PM

German: The Brothers Grimm.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 06:43 PM

There's also an English (? Not sure of it. have to look that up) story called "The Seven Ravens"- similar to "The Six Swans". The father is a peasant, and the girl, as well as staying silent "for as many years as [she} has brothers', cuts off one off her fingers to open a door, paying it in blood. (Her seven brothers are hiding in a robber's den.)


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 05:09 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 06:55 PM

BTW, Mary's Child, or Our Lady's Child , always made me uncomfortable due to the fact that (and not to offend any Catholics; if you're offended I apologise) the Virgin Mary ties down the girl's tongue for looking inside a room where the Trinity is hidden . Why did she specifically forbid the girl to enter it? What is it about the Trinity that looking at it is forbidden? And the other thing; didn't she think for a minute that telling the girl to not look inside would ensure that she did look inside? Also, what's the purpose of this story?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 06:15 PM

BTW, CapriUni, I read that (very interesting) post and thought of this; as you know, Dickens' portrayal of Tiny Tim was considered very enlightened for its time, as most able-bodied people had rarely come across any positive portrayals of disabled people. So yes, he's a very sentimental and problematic character in the 21st century, but at the time, his portrayal was groundbreaking. Speaking of Dickens-- at the moment I'm working on a steampunk (gritty science fiction genre set in the Victorian period or a fictional version of it) reworking of Oliver Twist (I'm leaving aside the HOND one for a while), and have been wondering about the question; when writing something in a setting where social attitudes to the disabled are different and you're trying to portray those attitudes accurately, are you automatically reinforcing some people's attitudes?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 04:28 PM

Morwen--

Thanks for the reminder about Mary's Child; now that we're getting into the winter months (here in my Northern Hemisphere), I'm thinking it's time to up the pace of my posting, since winter evenings tend to bring up feelings that we should be telling stories, and a tale centered on the Virgin would fit well for the "Christmas Season."

Speaking of which, today, I did my bit to participate in Ye Grand Olde Yuletide Tradition of invoking Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, here: Tiny Tim and the Role of the Disabled as Object Lessons.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 08:14 PM

BTW, don't know if this helps, but in several tellings of "Conomor and Triphine", Conomor/Comor/Comorre/Cunmar the Accursed is depicted as a giant.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 08:00 PM

There's also the Grimms' "Our Lady's Child" where the titular character is a woodcutter's daughter raised by the Virgin Mary, and is made mute for looking inside a room where the Trinity is hidden. That could be another one about disability as a punishment for sin; in order to be "cured", the person must confess their sin, and muteness is a punishment for sin.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 08:54 PM

EDIT; that "on" shouldn't be there.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 08:25 PM

BTW, I don't know myself whether psychopathy could count as a disability as such. I mean I think it plausibly could count as a mental illness, but I don't know whether you have to be aware that you're disabled before you're seen by those around you as disabled. I think if I was a psychopath, would I be aware that I was? Probably not. But I definitely have cerebral palsy and problems with social skills that I'm aware of. And I personally think Bluebeard counts. This may seem bizarre, but if you're open to title suggestions and you want to do on a post on Bluebeard, you could call it: "Bluebeard: disability and fears about marriage" or something similar.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 08:13 PM

OK, what about Perrault's Bluebeard? That could tie in with your post on Bertha Broadfoot. TV Tropes calls his famous beard a "Red Right Hand"- "deformity/distinctive physical feature as a sign of evil" like Captain Hook. I think psychopathy could count as a mental illness.Red Right Hand- TV Tropes . That's the definition of the term- a feature meant to tell a villain from a hero.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 07:29 PM

Morwen--

I just saw those suggestions (I was away to New York State [from Virginia] from the 25th-28th).

Your link to the Conomar and Triphine story came back with a 404 error message, so I'll have to hunt down a different link, and read the story for myself before I make a judgement on it. But right now, I am leery of equating evil with disability-- or even the modern psychological diagnosis of psychopathy with evil, because that just reinforces the ancient bigotry against the disabled, without really shedding light on what the fear actually is.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 06:15 PM

Interesting ideas and conclusion. BTW CapriUni, I left a suggestion of a tale you could cover- two.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 12:59 PM

My latest post in this blog went up last night: A-Begging We Will Go: accusation of faking disability for ill-gotten "benefits"

(About the seventeenth century broadside ballad, attributed to Richard Brome)


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 06:04 AM

There is a surlalune fairy tales page with an annotated version of the Bluebeard story as written by Perrault as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:26 PM

Or maybe Cunmar the Accursed (or Conomor) would count; he was apparently always evil, if psychopathy counts as a disability. Here's a link to a telling of the legend;Conomor and Triphine


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:15 PM

Interestingly, CapriUni, this is sort of related to the Breton story about Ugly Jan mentioned by LadyJean. I started a thread on the Breton werewolf legend of Cunmar the Accursed, said to be one of the real-life inspirations behind "Bluebeard". Maybe "Bluebeard" counts as a tale about disability? Or "Silvernose", a similar Italian tale? The devil's prosthetic nose was there for a reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 06:47 PM

Ah. Yes, indeed. I did know that tale... But I knew it by a different name.

And I also have mixed feelings about it, as the whole thrust of the story is that happiness depends on cure.

On the other hand, being hunchbacked was, indeed, often painful, and often shortened a person's life, so...


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 10:20 AM

Taffy's was the second of your Golden Arm scenarios, though as I recall he sourced it to a story Norma Waterson's father (?) used to tell when she was a kid.

Here's a link for The Legend of Knockgrafton.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 04:42 PM

Suibhne --

No, I do not remember The Legend of Knockgrafton here. I will have to look it up.

I have seen a couple of golden limb stories, though (a couple of Grimm-collected tales that did not get included in their Kinder- und Hausmarchen collection, which I almost chose for my Halloween selection -- until I remembered my affection for "Sammle"):

One about a little girl who was given a golden leg prosthesis, but subsequently died.... and a thief stole the golden leg from her coffin. So she comes back to haunt him.

And the other about a woman with a golden arm prosthesis, and a man who married her because he coveted that arm -- and then stole it from her coffin after she died, because he loved the arm more than he loved her, and so her ghost comes back to haunt him.

This last one is, I think, an interesting contrast to the "false-parted woman" ballads.

And speaking of ballads, I've "The Jovial Beggar" song lined up to post sometime soon, though first, I'd like to read 'The Jovial Crew' (the play by Richard Brome with which it is associated), since the company of beggars in that play are, apparently, representatives of the concerns of justice and charity in a changing social order.   And I suspect that the character of the (lame?) beggar in that play may have a lot of light to shed on the social role that the physically disabled play in the whole web of community contracts... Based on the lyrics of the song, I expect my conclusion to be: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM

I remember Taffy Thomas telling a golden arm story at a Twilight Tales two-hander we did in Northumberland a few years back. Did he say he got it off Norma Waterson? I dare say it's pretty well known if it's in Taffy's repertoire...


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 05:42 AM

Just had cause to mention Jacob's The Legend of Knockgrafton in another thread. I suppose it's already been mentioned here, but just in case in hasn't - well, what can I say? Poor old Jack Madden!


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 31 Oct 11 - 05:32 PM

Happy Halloween! To celebrate, I posted one of my favorite ghost stories to "Plato's Nightmare..."

"Sammle's Ghost" -- A Tale for Halloween

It's not particularly gory (in the literal sense) or violent. But it does mention a lot of snails and slugs and bats, and things. And it's basically a dialog between a ghost and a giant (rather bureaucratic) Great Worm. So, if worms and things (or bureaucrats) disgust you, you may not want to read...


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 06:44 PM

Ooh... that's an interesting idea, Mrr.

Also, when specific holidays come up, there is an expectation for specific stories to go with them. A week from now is Halloween (quickly becoming bigger than Christmas, here in the States), So maybe I could explore the story of Baba Yaga for that...

And this morning, I remembered a ghost story from a collection of Katherine Briggs' British Folktales anthology, called "Sammle's Ghost." Sammle dies, and he has to go meet with the king of the worms, And the king of the worms tells him that his spirit can't leave this earth and go on to the next dimension until after the worms have digested every last bit of his earthly body. And in the course of gathering up his body's ashes, it's revealed that, in life, he had to have an arm amputated, so he has to go fetch the preserved arm that the doctor kept in his office after the surgery.

And there's no big deal made of that fact... no notion that going about with only one arm was any great tragedy, but it just meant there was a bit of a complication in transitioning to the Afterlife. So I may post that story sometime this week, because it certainly does suggest that ghosts, like pirates, are often missing some parts (because if they managed to get through this life with all of their parts intact, they'd have moved on by now...).


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: GUEST,Mrr at work
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 04:25 PM

What about the Baba Yaga? Lived in a house on duck's feet that would turn around, went around in a mortar, driving it on with the pestle, and sweeping out the traces behind her with a broom... would that be a witch-y wheelchair?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 23 Oct 11 - 07:22 PM

My latest blog entry is now up: Halfman -- navigating the barriers of mockery and hatred.

I actually found the story through Lady Jean's suggestion, in this thread, way back on April 16th. It's not exactly the same story (this one's from Greece, not France) but it has many of the same elements. I've only read one translation into English, so I just linked to that version, and summarized the points relating to the Disability Experience (rather than attempt my own retelling based on synthesis of many translations).


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 07:23 AM

I just remembered that the song is on a box set called "Calypso: West Indian Rhythm 1938-1940".


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 09:01 PM

Well, songs are fair game -- my post on the "false-parted woman" was about the motif of prosthetics in comic ballads, dating back to the 1600s.

And I plan on doing a post on "The Jolly Beggar" sometime in the nearish future, to contrast the attitudes toward men and women with disabilities.... And then, there's also Teddy in "Mrs. McGrath."

But yeah, it sounds like "How I spent my time in Hospital" is a bit too recent for my scope. Maybe you could start a new discussion thread about the song, here on Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 05:04 PM

thanks. BTW, this is not a story but a song (Sorry, I can't give the lyrics!) Lord Executor, an old Trinidadian calypsonian (who died in 1950 so this song may not fit but his career began in the 1890s) slowly became blind in the final years of his life and wrote an extempo verse and a song called " How I Spent My Time In The Hospital."


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 12:14 AM

Why does only half of the last sentence show up?
When you started the second set of italics starting with "because", you typed <I. instead of <I>


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 08:49 PM

Yes, I'm familiar with the motif of the "plot" to ensure that the youngest inherit the property -- just look at all the stories where it's the youngest child who's the only one moral enough, or lucky enough, to pass the "inheritance test."

I've also come across the theory (though I don't know how valid it is) that this element of the youngest, rather than the eldest, is the designated heir is a remnant of the ancient Indo-European culture that was matriarchal rather than patriarchal.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 08:36 PM

Maybe she's so desperate to save her brothers that she endures pain to do it. Or maybe it's as you said. Or family loyalty. BTW, in some versions (most of them have the father be a king or wealthy lord), the father plans to have the brothers killed so that the heroine, his youngest child, can inherit all his property, because she's his favourite child.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 07:53 PM

Well, just now, I finished my latest entry. It's here: "They that went on crutches" (the intersection of old age and disability) -- basically, I just expanded on the question I asked yesterday.

---
Morwen -- yes, her muteness is a condition of the witch's spell. But the practical consequences of that (that all the major developments in her life from that time on are decided for her by those around her, and her own desires and needs are ignored) are things that people living without the ability to speak have to deal with in real life.

(Looking at the story with a modern sensibility, I wonder how she could remain silent during childbirth ... but maybe the spell allowed her to "Arrrrgh!" as long as she didn't utter an actual word).


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 05:30 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 10:18 PM

I think it was intended to be a condition of the spell. Her brothers would be in danger if she broke it by speech. btw, I've always thought that combining this tale with swan maiden tales would make a great fantasy novel- something i'd love to read. But I've got too much on with HSC.


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Subject: RE: BS: CapriUni's blog: disability in folktales
From: CapriUni
Date: 09 Oct 11 - 07:31 PM

Yes. ...Those are two of my favorites, and remembering that the witch (wise woman) at the beginning of "The Goose-Girl" uses her disability to test the character of the Prince/Hero made me so happy, because that gives me reason to share it and pontificate on it (And I've often wondered, in the back of my mind, if that Germanic-quasi-Goddess witch figure, who watches over the abused, and protects them by transforming them into geese is the root/origin of "Mother Goose").

I also love "The Six Swans" -- the imagery of the shirts woven from asters being thrown over the backs of flying swans is just so visually striking. And the chutzpah of the protagonist heroine when she realizes she cannot trust her father to protect her, so she strikes out on her own, makes me gleeful.

But I've been going back and forth on whether her six years of voluntary mutism counts as a "disability" or not. On the one hand, her situation mirrors the lives of many people who cannot speak (including children with more severe forms of cerebral palsy) who are at the mercy of others in authority who make all the decisions about their lives. But on the other hand, her muteness is imposed from the outside, and not any limit of her own abilities, and the whole story may be more a reflection of cultural sexism, rather than ableism.

So I haven't made my mind up on that, yet...


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