**Edited 9-9-2021: Please see my post Fairytales or Folklore? for an update.
Over the last five years or so most of my social media has been all “steampunk, steampunk, steampunk” and “libraries, libraries, libraries.” While both of these subjects are near and dear to my heart, they have also been a huge focus of my graduate studies, both as a masters and as a PhD student. They have absorbed my thoughts to the point that I haven’t really had the bandwidth to read or even think about much else. And that’s a shame, because one of my very favorite things is folklore and fairytales. They were the first stories and books that I loved and that love has never gone away.
,From 2016-2017 I regularly did posts on my Tumbr for #FolkloreThursday. My posts were pretty simple and focused on the first edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. I started at the beginning of the book and each week I would share an excerpt from the story as well as 2 or 3 images from different periods that spoke to the spirit of the story. On the off-chance that I couldn’t find any images, I would share the entire story as those were usually pretty short. It was nothing fancy but it was fun and I sort of just let it slip by the wayside when I started library school and began my podcast (which has also slipped sideways but that’s a subject for another day). This is often the way of ADHD brain, as is the sudden desire to rekindle old hobbies totally out of nowhere.
To be honest though, this wasn’t totally out of nowhere. I’ve been reading a lot of Seanan McGuire’s work lately, which hasn’t helped. I plowed through the October Daye series, which focuses on the Fae, and then I slid right into Indexing and then Indexing: Reflections, which centers on the idea that fairytales have the power to manifest their narratives in the real world. As long as someone fits the parameters of a story, they’re in danger of activating as part of a fairytale. Are you a girl who’s father married a woman with two daughters after your mother died? Well, get ready Cinderella, because you are in the middle of a potential narrative activation. The premise completely pulled me in and the author includes very rare stories among the more common ones. As someone who has spent the last 3 years studying rhetorical and narrative theory, it’s pretty cool.
So, reading these books got me thinking again about my old Tumblr posts. I dug through and found that I was about 51 stories in when I wandered off so I think I’m going to just start at the beginning and see how far I can get this time. It’s a simple enough thing and it gives me something to do when I’m procrastinating and not doing my homework. I’ll have the first post up this Thursday and I hope y’all enjoy. If you aren’t that familiar with the original Grimm stories, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. Having said that, the one thing I will do different this time is to post content warnings where they’re warranted. Some of these stories get pretty… grim.
**Edited to add that I totally forgot that all those years ago I actually made an entire Spotify playlist for #FolkloreThursday. When I can, where they’re available, I’m going to share songs that are pertinent to the stories that I’ve posted. But for now, here’s the entire playlist in all of its 217-song glory: