All of us have grown up reading fairy tales and for those who were around in the 80s, there used to be a one hour show called ‘Fairy Tale Theater’ which brought to life the stories. And so, I wanted to know how the author Carthick, wrote these stories again with a different perspective.
Thank you Carthick for this post and wish you all the best.
Why did you decide to rewrite fairy tales?
I am sure some of you would have seen this anecdote.
Author wrote “The curtains were blue”
What the literature teacher says, “The curtains represent his immense depression and his lack of will to carry on”
What did the author really mean? “That the curtains were fucking blue.”
This anecdote is often narrated to indicate how people tend to over analyze and complicate things. But I see it differently. Authors are just being themselves when they write. At least the genuinely good ones but their words have this kind of effect on the reader. If the author had deliberately painted the curtains blue and mentioned it to project the mood of the character, it would seem so artificial, manipulative and insincere. Instead the authors imagine themselves to be in the situation and try to describe what they see, hear, feel. The immense depression and the character’s lack of will to carry on magically conjures up the blue curtain which the author is compelled to describe as part of the dark dreary imagery which he is painting. Such is the case with me.
One fine day it occurred to me that it would be fun to write my own versions of fairy tales. Wrote a couple of them on the blog. Enjoyed writing them. Wanted to write a few more in other different ways. Enjoyed that also. Then it occurred to me that it may be a good idea to write a set of fairy tales as a collection of stories in a book. And thus the idea came about.
One of the reviews of my book says, “Sometimes the narrator of a fairytale steps a little bit outside the specific events and ventures into the general, and offers commentary on the human condition, on the position of women in relation to men, on the relationship between humans and animals and the environment, on the evolution of human history, on imperialism and colonization, and sometimes even on contemporary affairs.”
At least three other reviews point out how flawed the original fairy tales were especially in terms of misogynous attitudes and how they found my changed narrative more refreshing.
I had not started with any of these aims in mind at the outset. But as the book evolved and I started deciding which of the fairy tales to keep and which to eliminate, many of the factors mentioned by the reviewers were playing in the back of my mind. For example, there was a sentimental version of Beauty and the Beast story I had written, a slap stick version of Snow White, a Science Fiction version of Hansel and Gretel and a paranormal version of Little Red Riding Hood. None of these somehow fitted in with the mood of this book. So, I had to drop them, nice though they were in their own ways.
And so we have a book of fairy tales by unique narrators that address some of the flaws in the original tales as well as offer a commentary on the social and political conditions of present times.
About the author
He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.
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