Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Childe Rowland

Apparently when I picked out my 100 free e-books that came with my reader, I grabbed a copy of Joseph Jacobs's "English Fairy Tales," which happens to have the story of "Childe Rowland" in it, which happens, as it were, to be a root of one of King's inspirations for The Gunslinger (the gunslinger's name is also Roland)... in a round about manner.  Shakespeare wrote a line about it in King Lear, which I totally  don't remember

Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum
I smell the blood of a British man.
King Lear, Act 3, scene 4

most likely because it's complete nonsense in the context of the play...

Anyway, it seems Robert Browning wrote a poem called "Child Rowland to the Dark Tower Came," though apparenlty (I have yet to read the poem, though it's included in the last book of the Dark Tower series, according to wikipedia) the poem has nothing to do with the story.

Which is really not the point of this entry.  The point of this entry was to reflect on what I thought of the story, titled in the English Fairy Tales collection by Jospeh Jacobs, "Childe Rowland."  So here goes.

I don't think I've ever actually read English fairy tales..... Seriously.  My knowledge of fairy tales goes about as far as the Grimm's fairy tales.  In this list, I know "Jack and the Beanstalk," the title "Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse" is familiar for some reason, but I haven't read it yet to see if I actually know it, and that's it.  I wonder why... my great grandma on my mom's side was from Wales, so you'd think...

Anyway, moral of the story - don't run against the sun (which would be west?  I'm good with directions, but I'm trying to figure out how an arc overhead could be transcribed into which way to walk in a circle... counter-clockwise?) around a church if you're a girl cause the Elfking will nab you and put you under a spell, though you'll be fairly pampered and aside from the whole kidnapped and being under a spell, it may not be a bad deal... unless you're already a princess, in which case hope your brother's aren't too dumb to mess up the rescue.  That was moral one.  Moral two is to always ask your mom before going on an adventure, despite getting advice from Merlin, because mom knows what's best, and she'll give you a magic sword that never misses, unless your opponent is an elfking with an equally magic weapon, in which case you may have to apply some skill, but you'll still win.

I still find it weird that all of the fairy tales I know are German.  Granted, I am German descent, and the whole Germans settling in the midwest thing... still... weird!

Why is there no spell check?!

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