Jan 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Charles Perrault

Do you like fairy tales? (nope, not looking at you, Swift)  Do you like Disney movies?  Perhaps you enjoy critiquing Disney movies for their blatant sexism and pushing like a drug the idea that girls just need to get married to be happy?  Well then you should wish Charles Perrault (my long lost ancestor, I like to believe/tell people) a happy 384th birthday today or a belated birthday if you read this later.  Do it.  

Perrault started off studying law, did some architect work and some writing, and then decided he was just going to write children's stories.  Fun fact: according to the Wikipedia, Perrault suggested to Louis XIV to include fountains representing Aesop's fables in the Versailles gardens. 

So once he decided his literary focus was going to be for the kids, like a 17th century version of no child left behind, he published Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals aka Tales of Mother Goose.  It included Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Puss in Boots, among others.  So basically a lot of stories with women in submissive roles.  Like all the stories and movies and chick flicks/lit that comes out today! Hooray!!

But no, in all seriousness, the motivation behind them were the morals children could take from these sometimes graphic stories.  The morals were fitting for the time period (I think?), but need a drastic revision for application today.  And that's what fractured fairy tales are for!  Also, his stories are on The List (yay!) so I'll finally be reading the book my 5th grade dance teacher gave me solely because I share his last name. 

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