The Story of Prince Goldenlocks (1)
and Princess 'Goldenlocks'
|The enigma of Somewhere 1|
A Rewritten Fairy Tale
Posted by Eso A.B.
First: A verbatim introduction from
‘The New Yorker’
Editors’ Note: In March on the Book Bench, Maria Tatar wrote about a cache of five-hundred Bavarian fairy tales that were unearthed recently in Germany. The fairy tales were compiled by the nineteenth-century ethnographer Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, a contemporary of the Grimm brothers, who was fascinated by the folkways and stories of his native region and whose tales are more raw, more concerned with capturing the rhythms of local storytelling, than the ones familiar to us. Tatar has now translated one of the tales, “King Goldenlocks,” from Erika Eichenseer’s 2010 compilation of Schönwerth’s tales in German, “Prinz Rosszwifl.” We give the tale to you here for the first time in English. Asked why she chose this particular tale, Tatar replied:
It gives us a persecuted hero rather than the conventional persecuted girl, a la Cinderella and Snow White, and it shows us that fathers can be just as cruel as the Grimms’ mothers and stepmothers. The tale also acts like a magnet, picking up bits and pieces of local color (laws about branding criminals, with punishments as a probation of sorts), Biblical and mythical themes (apples of paradise), and folk wisdom. What hooked me from the get-go was the parallel with the Grimms’ “Frog King,” which features a beautiful girl playing with her golden ball in the woods. Suddenly I understood the kaleidoscopic magic of fairy tales—a little twist here and another one there, and you have a completely different story, yet constructed from the very same bits and pieces.
(End of ‘The New Yorker’ Introduction.)
|The enigma of Somewhere 2|
The following © Eso A.B.
I am in disagreement with Ms Tatar’s assertion that the fairy tale of “The Frog King” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frog_Prince_(story) is somehow related to or is somehow on a parallel of “Prince Goldenlocks”.
A reader who knows a little German, will notice how the word “eiserne”, meaning ‘of iron’, can--by the shifting of two consonants and a vowel--make the word read “einsam” (alone, lonely). As everyone knows, the tendency of ‘our time’ is to weaponize everything probable and improbable, which is probably why Ms Tatar choses the “eiserne” version of the fairy tale as a parallel to what more appropriately corresponds to a tale of one who is 'vulnerable'.
No fairy tale, when retold, is ever the same. I hope to prove the point through the following ‘retold’ version. No doubt, the fairy tale in my version is a ‘longer’ version of the original and could be longer still, because it brought to mind certain notions that do not appear to have been in the mind of whoever told the version collected by Schönwerth. Indeed, fairy tale telling, like singing, never stops—if only we can get the stories out of the halls of Harvard into the space of an unconstipated everyday. For all that this story teller knows, the internet (the medium of adlibbers ad infinitum) may turn out to be facilitate a new age of fairy tales.
As I see it, the “The Frog King” is a story of a lonely (and most likely poor) boy dreaming of meeting a Princess. The boy's dream has little to do with wishing to become an iron willed young man who after he starts thinking about the future (probably after taking a wife) chooses to become a banker and dedicates his life to making the ‘other’ people of the world poor—as the grim story of Grimm’s Frog King seems to hint at.
The dream of King Goldenlocks (actually only a Prince before King Bluebeard dies) is about a Goldenlocked young Princess http://www.zine5.com/archive/ft08.htm . From this perspective, the fairy tale tells the tragedy that sprang of the boy’s dream, when as after a collision of protons in a “Big Bang Machine” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125346156 (the head of the storyteller), the protons of the story spin off sub-elements, which may or may not correspond to what the story teller is looking forward to telling his audience. As most of us know, scientists today are banging together protons in the hope of spinning off the “God particle”. Whether they produce such a particle, depends on, like Ms Tatar’s “Goldenlocks”, which story is more interesting: her’s , mine, or some other.
As we take a closer look and analyze some of the inversions and paraidolian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia shifts of mind that follow a subjective ‘reality check’ engaged in by the story teller, the memory memes, which have held the story together and afloat in the ether of a given community’s mindset for centuries, we may begin to puncture meanings imposed on the story in earlier times, so that older layers of meaning are released from their shackles or newer meanings emerge with no idea yet what a shackle is.
One tale that spins off the “King Goldenlocks” story is the ‘ancient’ Greek tragedy by Sophocles, “King Oedipus”—to which King Goldenlocks, runs a close parallel. However, before I come to King Oedipus, let us make use of pareidolia (of my mindset) and witness how such associations come about.
The Story of Prince Goldenlocks (1)
and Princess 'Goldenlocks'
Once upon a time--most recently in a William Shakespeare play==there lived a king named Lear. The king had three daughters and a son. The King does not appear to have a wife, who may (to leep the story from having to deal with more children and more of their stories) have died in childbirh. In some versions of the story, the son does not appear. As the reader will see, this is to avoid unnecessary complications in the attempt to retell the story in the way it actually happened,
Of the three daughters, the eldest was called Joneril or Goneril (the letters J and G in those days being both pronounced as Zh or Ž, the oversexed, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gonorrhea ).
The second oldest princess was called Le Zhan or Regan [the letters R then being pronounced as L thus Le, and G as Ž, re Le Zhan], meaning a sexual libertine. The latter meaning is still met among names used by populist folk, re Plain Jane, Crazy Jane, Pope Joan. Some of the sexual connotations are carryovers from the male John, Zhan, Huan, Hans—all of the names arising from the root ‘Yan’, which in proto human language (some say Sanscrit) may have meant ‘seed’.
The third and youngest daughter was called Princess Goldenlocks, which name was at one time pronounced Cordelia (from Cor- (heart) and –delia (tail, braid), the heart’s dilly, re http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordelia ), the braid or knot (of love). A remnant of the association remains in the crude language of soldiers, re: “I need to get me some tail.”
King Lear also named his son, “Goldenlocks”. This male version of the name may be traced by the pareidolian method to the root of in the word for ‘seed’, i.e., Yan or John. In other words, the name Goldenlocks plays the role of a last name, which is why the princ’s real name originally was Jean or John or Ivan Goldenlocks.
The word and name of “Goldenlocks” itself probably arises from an association with the color of seed, that is, the color of cream-white or yellow or honey. At least, this is the path traced by the late English poet Robert Graves, who believed that the very origin of human language is closely connected to poetic association and paraidolia. Paraidolia, in turn, lends itself to “magic language”, which according to Graves is “…bound up with popular religious ceremonies in honour of the Moon goddess, or Muse”…. Grasves condemns in the strongest possible terms Socrates and modern philosophers, who, having gained their language through the inspiration of the Moon Goddess—easily recognized as Princess Goldenlocks—betray her gift by seeking escape in “intellectual homosexuality” or Socratic or Platonic love.
Curiously, a distant association of the name of John as seed, is retained by paraidolic association in the name of the John Deere Company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Deere_(inventor) . John Deere invented the self-polishing plow, which made tilling the ground to receive seed that much more easy in clay soils.
Sometimes pareidolia works (meets the truth) by being able to transverse labyrinthine corridors. The story of Johnny Appleseed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed , too, imbeds a similar association. For example, is not the seed of an apple the result of an orgasm by an apple?
One day King Lear rode into the wood to hunt.
In the far off days, the woods were not yet, as we say today, ‘deforested’. In those days, if one wished to travel from Paris to Byzantium (later moved from Alexandria Egypt to today’s Istanbul, then Kiev, then Moscow), it took three months or more. In other words, in those days, Europe was covered by wood from one end to the other, from the far East to the far West. The same woods were filled with animals never seen today. Swamps had ponds with many fish. Often the only way to get from one end of Europe to the other was by travelling the sea shores, river routes, and following animal and human tracks trod through the forests over thousands of years.
Once he had entered the forest, King Lear became lost. He blew on his hunting horn to summon help. To his great surprise, the first helper he met was Jiant, the King of the Wood. The name “Jiant” is of course but a variant on the name “giant”. Needless to say, King Lear was taken aback.
The giant was surrounded by an unkempt group of forest men of who none could speak, except for one word: “Kal-vonc”. "Kal-vonc" is perhaps a variation of the proto-Sanscrit language. These men spoke and chanted the word over and over again in all possible tones of voice.
The longer King Lear watched and listened to King Jiant and his men, the more he was convinced that they really meant to inform him that to their way of thinking, his real name was King Vonc or Yonk or John. In the course of time, the word came to stand for the word ‘chilovek’ in Russian or “cil-vehks” in Latvian. Following yet many more thousand years later, the word acquired yet other meanings (at least in Latvian), such as “celms” (a tree stump or root), “cilts” (a tribe), “cirst” (to axe), and “celt” (to build).
While many of the words mentioned are not relevant to the story of Goldenlocks, some retain an echo, nevertheless. For example, “celms” (stump or root) echoes to names such as '(Y)adam', (C)admus’, 'Krish' or ‘Christ’ (from cross, krusts), meaning equally ‘source’ and ‘cross’.
As for the relationship of the names of ‘King Lear’ and ‘King Jiant’, it can be grasped when we imagine the names to be objects and names at the same time. Therefore, the human voice may be compared to a hazel stick. The paraidolian thought process assigns importance to a hazelstick for the same reason Romans compared (visually) man-made law with a bundle of hazelsticks bound with a lock of Cordelia’s hair.
As King Lear blew on his horn to summon help, King Jiant remained standing with his back pressed against a gigantic oak tree. He gave King Lear a friendly smile.
Nevertheless, King Lear continued to blow on his hunting horn until his hunting companions, vassals, and ‘yes-men’ gathered around him.
When all his vassals had arrived, King Lear regained his composure and lost bravery.
Among the hunters were the husbands of princesses Jon-eril and Le-Zhan. Respectively, the princes were known as Jengland and Cornwall. Both Princes were King Lear’s supporters, not least because their wives were the King’s eldest daughters. King Lear had written a Last Will that divided his kingdom between his elder daughters.
Princess Goldenlocks, the king’s youngest daughter, was excluded from the Will, because—golden haired as she was--her hair was always in a disorderly state. This caused King Lear to give his daughter an additional name, that is, he called her Princes Goldenlocks Struvelpeter. Struvelpeter amdns messed up hair in German). This the King called Goldenlocks inspite of the fact that the Princess loved him dearly.
When all the vassals had gathered about him, King ordered his sons-in-law, Jengland and Corwall, to capture King Jiant of the Wood and lock him up in the castle’s dungeon.
The capture of Jiant was no easy task. The whole wood came to King Jiant’s aid. Wild pigs, some hid behind trees, came charging from their hiding places and flattened many of the king’s men against other trees. The king’s sons-in=law suffered several broken ribs.
Incidentally, all this happened in times when democracy was still the order of the day and prevailed among all inhabitants on Earth, trees including.
Eventually King Lear and his vassals managed to separate and isolate King Jiant from the ‘chilovecs’. Prince Jengland, broken ribs and all, ordered placed a noose around the foreskin of King Jiant’s robin), while Prince Cornwall jabbed King Jiant from behind with the tip of a firehardened hazelwood spear.
King Jiant was put into an branch, which was covered with a robe net. King Jiant was also castrated. Then King Lear decided that he would hold a Celebration.
Hundred runners dispersed throughout the kingdom of King Lear, which was also known as Thebes. How the messengers got to where they were going is hard to say, because in the long ago the name ‘Thebes’ was a place name, both, in Greece as well as Egypt.
While the invited guests gathered, King Lear decided to take a nap.
Meanwhile, Prince John Goldenlocks, was playing with his sister Jane (or Joan) Goldenlocks Struvelpeter in the castle’s court yard.
Both children were kicking a gold gilt rubber ball back and forth. Then Jane Goldenlocks kicked the ball, and it went flying into the net and the cage that held the King of the wood Jiant. The Princess asked Jiant to ‘please’ return the ball. Jiant did.
A little later it was the Prince Jean Goldenlock’s turn to kick the ball. He also kicked the ball into Jiant’s cage. However, when Prince Goldenlocks asked Jiant to return the ball, Jiant refused unless the Prince promised to released him.
“That is not fair!” shouted Prince Goldenlocks at Jiant. “I just saw you return the ball to Princess Goldenlocks. You even tried to give her a kiss.”
Nevertheless, because King Lear was resting, and because King Jiant was a giant, Prince Jean Goldenlocks went to his father and removed from around his neck the necklace that held the key. The Prince then gave the key, which was nothing more than a sharp stone, to King Jiant, who then gave him his ball back. Jiant snapped the branches of the cage and cut through the rope net. He then let himself go free.
Before King Jiant disappeared in the wood, he told the young Prince that: “If in the future you ever need help, just come to the forest and call out my name “’Jiant! Jiant! Jiant!’” three times. I will come and do what I can to help you.”
Jiant then disappeared into the wood. He was accompanied by song of every bird in the wood. The cranes blew their trumpets; the storks clapped their beaks in a rattle no human drummer could repeat; while the ravens “kraahed” until their happy throats turned blue; and the trees swayed as if they were alive.
The noise from the wood awakened King Lear from his nap. It may have been the yammer that was coming from the court ballroom, where the vassals, guests, yes-men, and gentlemen were discussing the case of the missing Jiant. They imagined him to be King Lear’s enemy.
When King Lear came into the midst of his guests, he was embarrassed to discover that Jiant the Giant had escaped.
“Someone let him out!” the vassals whispered among themselves.
The King and his yes-men were soon agreed, that ‘someone’ had indeed released Jiant from the cage. Everyone could see that the rope that tied the door had been cut through.
“Who did this?!” King Lear bellowed.
When no one replied, the King continued:
“Whoever did this, I will have his head on the pole by the gate until it dies! To whoever knows and tells me who did it, I will give a sack full of gold.”
Everyone in the ballroom stood silent and looked around uncomfortable. In the wood not a leaf rustled. Just when King Lear began to imagine that his question was being ignored and was about to begin yelling again, he heard a voice.
“It was Prince Goldenlocks,” said a voice.
When everyone looked who the voice belonged to, they saw it was that of Princes Goldenlock Struvelhair.
It so happened that when the Princes and the Princec played with the golden gilt ball in the courtyard, Prince Goldenlocks sometimes poked his sister from behind. He did it as if it was accidental, which it really was not. This was annoying, and Princess Goldenlocs was tired of saying: “Stop it! It was Prince Goldenlocks,” the Princess repeated just to make sure that everyone heard. “He took the flint from the King’s neck. Then he gave it to King Jiant.”
King Lear then clapped his hands and had his serfs bring from the livery his favourite donkey, the one who could not stop he-hawing gold from his throat, piddling gold dust, and dropping gold pellets from under his tail.
When the donkey was brought, King Lear had it led around princess Goldenlocks four times. The piles of gold the donkey left behind were enough to last a life-time.
When the gifting ceremony was over, everyone as if remembered to look for Prince Goldenlocks, who was nowhere to be seen. “He just ran into the wood!” said Princess Goldenlocks.
Prince Goldenlocks, who stood stunned and watching Princess Goldenlocks, slapped himself in the face and run for the wood. As he ran, he shouted something that none of the vassals had heard before:
“True democracy is possible only in the wood!” the Prince cried.
When he had entered the wood, the Prince clapped his hands and called three times: “Jiant, Jiant, Jiant!”
[Next: Continuation of the fairy tale shortly:] Meanwhile, for my best "Rewrite" see http://oedipusrexrewritten.blogspot.com/