Friday, January 29, 2010

A Sorta Fairytale With You

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Bonjour all!

Firstly I have to mention that while I was sick the past weekend (mini colds I blame for this dreadful weather- I really want winter to diminish), I was able to stumble upon BBC's newly adapted version of Emma (played by great actors as Romola Garai, Johnny Lee Miller, and Michael Gambon) and I must say, it literally revived me during a time when you are feeling blue and down under the weather.

I can't emphasize enough that I found Romola struck a perfect line in portraying Emma wonderfully and Mr. Knightly...oh Mr. Knightly. I must say that Mr. Elton is quite handsome in this one... almost too handsome...

I can gush on and on about the costumes, the cinematography, the score (which I purchased the album, it was worth it), the lovely scenarios where they shot, and the Austenian bliss of it all. It seriously made me wish for summers in the English countryside.

Recently I had a bit of free time to clean out my room, and go through my bookshelf and re-organized them, ouu-ing and ahh-ing about the many titles or certain editions I own which I pride on having and so forth, when I came across a collection of fairy tales.
( John Bauer, God Kväll, Farbror! Hälsade Pojken (Good Evening Old Man! The Boy Greeted, 1915)
When I was young, I used to be enthralled by fairy tales. Don't get me wrong. My fellow friends and I still talk about fairy tales. And Prince Charming ( although I think my version took an altered way after watching BBC's Emma- Mr. Knightley has stolen my heart) So when a handmade scrapbook fell out in between the books, I turned it over to its front ,and what do I see but my own collection of fairy tales that have left me in awe.
(John Bauer, Julbocken (Christmas Goat), 1912)

I had always been a fan of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all that jazz, but there had been others that have gripped me as well and that is Scandinavian Folklore.
One of them was the Swedish " Prince Hat Under the Ground" (Prins Hatt Under Jorden), "The White Dove", a Danish fairy tale, and a particular favorite one- a Norwegian tale called " The Three Princesses of Whiteland"

I have always been a long time fan of John Bauer's work, who is a Swedish painter as well as illustrator, but more than that, his one-of-a-kind artistic outlook is so stunning that when I was young and even now, can still blow me away with its strangeness and wonder. I was so fond of Princess Tuvstarr, with her fairy-like elegance and I used to wish I was a part of her world.
Of course, who doesn't love Andrew Lang's Fairy Books? The fact that a book was ranged according to color filled with tales from all over. I particularly like the Blue, Red, and Green, although all of them are just as marvelous.

( John Bauer, Princess Tuvstar Still Stares At The Water Looking For Her Heart, 1913 )
(John Bauer, The Golden Key )
The Golden Key is probably one of my favorites. To me, it always held such a powerful and meaningful message, that light would always overcome darkness through times of tribulation.

(John Bauer, Titta På Dem, Sade Trollmor: Titta På Mina Söner! Vackrare Troll Finns Inte På Denna Sidan Månen. (The Princess and the Troll Sons), 1915.)
There are much more that Bauer has done which each of just as delicate and delightful to see. You can observe more of his works at Artsy Craftsy.

Speaking of Hans Christian Andersen, I remember reading up on the life behind the man who wrote such beautiful stories, and I'm surprised how no one (that I know yet so far) that has made a film on Andersen's life. It could be a very interesting subject to ponder on. Okay I will blush now that this following excerpt is from Wiki, but I couldn't have said it better myself:

Hans Christisn Andersen often fell in love with unattainable women and many of his stories are interpreted as references to his sexual grief. The most famous of these was the opera soprano Jenny Lind. One of his stories, "The Nightingale", was a written expression of his passion for Lind, and became the inspiration for her nickname, the "Swedish Nightingale". Andersen was often shy around women and had extreme difficulty in proposing to Lind.
When Lind was boarding a train to take her to an opera concert, Andersen gave Lind a letter of proposal. Her feelings towards him were not mutual; she saw him as a brother, writing to him in 1844 "Farewell... God bless and protect my brother, is the sincere wish of his affectionate sister, Jenny."
A girl named Riborg Voigt was the unrequited love of Andersen's youth. A small pouch containing a long letter from Riborg was found on Andersen's chest when he died. At one point he wrote in his diary: "Almighty God, thee only have I; thou steerest my fate, I must give myself up to thee! Give me a livelihood! Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!"

I honestly think that he could be the runner up next to Keats when it comes to the way he sinks into love.

Regardless of what our favorite fairy tales are, what really overcomes us in the end is often the truth and morals that usually takes place behind the meaning of these stories. It was a way that allowed us to overcome our own reality if but only for a moment, and at the same time, it inspired us to see the best of what's to come in our own lives- that is, our own real fairy tales.

And that's all for now, ciao!

(Note: Pictures not titled were taken courtesy of British Vogue, BBC, and Tumblr)



  1. Oh how I wish I had BBC so I could dive into the glorious world of Emma!

  2. I was absolutely and positively pulled deeply into the beauty of Pride and Prejudice, I think which I also saw on BBC a few years ago. I am not in love with Keira Knightly, but my goodness, I loved that movie. I want to start new fashion trends from those dresses of old.

    I LOVED the pictures on this post. Pictures like that just stir something in my soul. Beautiful and haunting at the same time. I was obsessed with fairy tales as a kid, especially the true Grimm fairytales, the ones that have not been toned down for the sake of the children.

    Thank you for this post!

  3. I just found your blog today and I have to say its wonderful!

    It's so funny I found it now, because I have exactly the same book of fairy tales in my room, that my grandmother used to read to my father and then me when we were small. My very favorite is the one about Princess Cottongrass (Princess Tuvstar)and the Elk. What's your favorite?

  4. @ Simply Mel, @ Kato, @ Erica- I'm just glad to share my thoughts and inspirations with all those who love it just as much...thanks so much!

  5. :D
    Those photos don't do Romola any justice! And I looove the John Bauer illustrations! But I have to say I'm not a traditional fairy tale person. I bought an old book of Andersen's stories, and they're just...weird. Maybe if I had read them when I was I child I would 'get' them?

  6. Hahaha ohhh katherine, I know, but (thrusts my hand in the air) at least I got my message across.. that Emma is just so <3. Really? Even now it just still captivates me.. oh perhaps though, everyone's different! I thought you might love John Bauer :)

  7. There IS a movie about Hans Christian Andersen, but I'm quite sure it's completely fictional. Though it does show him writing "The Little Mermaid" for a woman he loves who is already married, and so representing his unluckiness in love somewhat. It's a 1950s musical with Danny Kaye in it... though not at all historically accurate, it's a nice movie to watch. =] Danny Kaye is wonderful.

  8. that first photo is gorge! and i've been watching emma, wishing i'm in such world all the time. it's just so dreamy!

    love your blog!


  9. Oh, that first quote is my motto. My very favorite quote ever!

    And I absolutely adore fairy tale's as well! I read around a million growing up - I especially loved Andrew Lang's. Such an enchanting post!

  10. Love the quote! Your blog is absolutely lovely.

  11. I love you guys. It literally brightens whatever moment I'm within. @ Emma- my fave as well :) @ Charlotte- Thanks so much for the heads up! I'll definitely look into it!


Thanks for brightening my day! Always love to hear what you have to say.


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