Sunday, May 6, 2012

The ends.


Alas, how quickly this semester flew by! This will be my last blog post for the purposes of our fairy tales class, but if the motivation ever finds me I may post from time to time in the future—perhaps in a different blog though. Looking back over my previous posts, and my original post especially, I see that I was interested throughout the semester in being able to take away from this course an understanding of the cultures and histories behind the tales we read. I think that this goal was achieved, especially when we ventured from Europe to Africa, the Levant, and the Orient. I also found in my posts a fair amount of skepticism of some of the perspectives we used to approach fairy tales. My biggest target was Freudian psychoanalysis, but I also never truly accepted Jungian theory either. I often ended up arguing from these perspectives anyway, simply because I think it is good to be able to argue from a stance that is not my own.
If I had to put a finger on my favorite tale, I would have to say that it remains unchanged from what it was at the beginning of the semester: Hansel and Gretel. As with then, I still greatly enjoy the idea of two siblings working together (the only other time this happened was in the story of Neelkamal and Lalkamal (not coincidentally, this was my favorite new fairy tale that we learned). As I said, I enjoyed the broad range of cultures we visited, but I think that it would have been interesting to have some pre-1492 fairy tales from Latin America, though perhaps this is a challenge since most of that civilization was likely wiped out by disease before anyone would have thought to write down some fairy tales. I think that between the cultural scope and variety of perspectives used in our analysis, this class is quite well-suited to be an SIS. I probably could have spent some more time earlier in the semester reading, but after midterms I picked up because I realized how much more those who did the full reading were getting out of the class. Common sense, but still.
For lack of some witty thing to end my blog, I leave you all with this: It has been a great adventure reading, discussing (debating), deriding, and enjoying these folk and fairy tales with all of you!
~Nick

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