Monday, January 30, 2012

Fairy Tales: the single biggest influence on contemporary literature.

 I wondered if this was true because I've always considered The Biocide Conspiracy with its dastardly plot and its motely cast of rogues and villains as a modern re-working of Treasure Island.  So I asked myself: if I had to select from any of  the fairy tales I remember from my childhood, which if any, comes even close to its storyline.

Guess what I came up with Hansel and Gretal.   Just like the two lost children in the fairy tale my gullible hero and heroine  accept the help of a Good Samaritan, unaware that they are falling straight into a trap.

Intrigued I repeated the exercise choosing The White Amah next time, my family saga about a young woman brought  up in the rain drenched jungle of Borneo, who, to escape a forced marriage, embarks on a search for her roots. Tricked by a maid posing as her mother,  she becomes a lowly amah; not unlike the good-hearted princess in The Goose Girl  seized by her maid and  turned into a common goose girl.  I'm in good company borrowing from the Brothers Grimm, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is another variation on this tale.

Currently keeping me busy ( still on the first draft), Salvation Jane   had me flummoxed for a while but as Jane Patterson is an activist campaigning for the rights of  the homeless I plonked for Andersen's bittersweet tale The Little Match Girl.  My fellow Australians should understand the significance of my heroine's name.

Hard to  believe that  the inspiration for all my novels came from the  first stories I heard and loved.

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