Amelia Owens

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics


    Grimm: Why The Stories Have Cast A Spell On Us

    Analyze what about the Grimm fairytales causes them to be recycled artistically age after age. What is their cultural legacy in the Western world? "Children’s and Household Tales," now commonly known as "Grimms’ Fairy Tales," has supposedly been translated into over 100 languages, and besides the Bible, is the most commonly purchased work throughout the world. These tales continually serve as a source of inspiration for writers, artists, and filmmakers. Include a discussion of Grimm adaptations throughout the centuries: some suggestions are the poem "Der Erlk├Ânig" by Goethe, the Pre-Raphealite painting "The Council Chamber" by Edward Burne-Jones, and a few modern films ("Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," "Into The Woods," the television show "Grimm," etc.)

    • I really really love this topic. Fairy tales, especially the Grimm's recordings, have shaped so much of the fiction archetypes for modern pop culture. Tracing where these archetypes show up is really interesting, and in some cases go forward to the presents or back as far as ancient mythology. – SomeOtherAmazon 9 years ago
    • I love fairy tale retellings, so this sounds like a great topic. It also might be good to point out how the stories have changed, how instead of creating new ones they were redone to be less harsh, while keeping the morals for which they were written. – Fox 9 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    Wow. This is an excellent article! Many of these songs I would have never thought to investigate so thoroughly. Your song-by-song approach is particularly good. Suddenly I like Lorde.

    Lorde and the Ambiguous 'You': the Idyllic Relationship of Pure Heroine

    This is a very engaging article. I am disappointed, however, that the focus of so many modern retellings of Beauty and the Beast is on sexual domination and submission. Isn’t it interesting how, among all the themes that could be gleaned from the story, that is the one that modern writers run with? Unfortunately, this is just another example of the obsession our culture has with sex.

    I always found the real wonder and joy in Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s Beauty and the Beast to be the fact that, despite the Beast’s terrible ugliness, Beauty found that she loved him. She pitied him. She wasn’t really hoping for anything for herself out of their relationship.

    But perhaps this is simply how I chose to read into the story, and am reading into it incorrectly. Either way, themes besides sexual awakening could be explored here.

    Angela Carter's Beauty and the Beast: Building a Feminist Romance

    Thank you for this helpful list! I haven’t read a single one, sadly. I would also add On Writing Well by William Zinsser–literally one of the best books on writing I’ve ever discovered. It really stresses simplicity and clarity.

    Essential Books for Writers

    As a previous dancer with sisters who still dance, this article immediately caught my attention. I love your discussion of the media involvement, particularly The Rite of Spring. I’ve always loved its frightfully realistic choreography. Dark, more somber ballets are the most moving, for some reason.

    Ballet as a Progressive Art: Expectations and Perceptions

    What an excellent article on a director I have always admired. Contrary to the opinions of critics, The Village is in my top five favorite films of all time. It was actually the first work of his that I saw. Before your article, I hadn’t even known that it was so poorly received. I personally think that the setting he created (or perhaps didn’t create, but at least chose), the melodramatic score, and the strange characters are what made me love The Village. The characters of Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Adrien Brody are exceptionally convincing, I think–very odd, yes, but this lends to the eccentricity that the film embodies.

    Honestly, I think that The Lady in the Water was the real indicator that Shamalyan’s creative success was dwindling. It began so well: a dreary, perfectly mundane setting with a perfectly mundane lead character, and something impossible stirring the pool. A fractured fairy tale with promise, it seemed, but then the plot began twisting and turning so much, and introducing one bewildering idea after the next, that it left me with multiple unmet expectations.

    Maybe we just need to remember that Shamalyan loves the bizarre, and that does not always fit well in a box.

    The Rise and Fall of M. Night Shyamalan