Weekly thingy and the Two of Cups/The Goblin Market
I was thinking that this was bending my rules a bit, since Christina Rosetti’s The Goblin Market is very much a literary single author fairytale, but then so are all of the Hans Christian Andersen stories I’ve used, so that’s not it. And the idea of eating fairy fruit and being trapped in a fairy bargain obviously predates Rosetti by a long, long ways – the basic story has been told in lots of different ways and places. The ones that really feel like they don’t fit to me are Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice, and honestly it’s messy and I can’t tell you exactly why those three don’t feel the same to me as all of these other stories. Luckily this is my random project and I don’t have to justify my choices, so behold, Lizzie and Laura about to get in trouble.
Have y’all read ‘The Goblin Market’? You very much should, it’s beautiful and a quick read, and you can find the full text here. I read it lots of times as a child and then not at all for a long time – it’s been sitting on my shelf for 20+ years and I just hadn’t picked it up again till I read ‘The Goblins of Bellwater’ (excellent modern fairytale, highly recommend) and the section quoted at the beginning made me go WHAT and pick it up again. I was a very oblivious child you guys. I was busy with the scary goblins and tempting fruit and hahahaha platonic sisterly love story omg tiny Nara.
‘Evening by evening Among the brookside rushes, Laura bow’d her head to hear, Lizzie veil’d her blushes: Crouching close together In the cooling weather, With clasping arms and cautioning lips, With tingling cheeks and finger tips. “Lie close,” Laura said, Pricking up her golden head: “We must not look at goblin men, We must not buy their fruits: Who knows upon what soil they fed Their hungry thirsty roots?”
And then later, when Lizzie has braved the goblins and gotten covered in fairy fruit juice to save Laura:
‘She cried, “Laura,” up the garden, “Did you miss me? Come and kiss me. Never mind my bruises, Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you, Goblin pulp and goblin dew. Eat me, drink me, love me; Laura, make much of me; For your sake I have braved the glen And had to do with goblin merchant men.”
So, yes, the poem both calls them sisters and very carefully points out that later in life they end up properly married with children but nope, sorry, ‘sisters’ in the same sense that the two doctors in Ballet Shoes are just spinster roommates.
It was a long rough week even though I had a couple of days off (one for Covid booster reaction and one for dental work, so not, like, FUN days). But The Snowy Day is open and it’s beautiful and you can watch it for free for like 3 more weeks! It’s a great starter opera if you’re nervous about leaping in at the deep end – in English with surtitles and only an hour long, plus I think it really captures the magic of the picture book. And it is SO GREAT to be doing an opera about Black joy for once. Just follow the link and subscribe to HGO digital for free: https://watch.hgodigital.org/