Lost cities, lost treasures, lost books…. The legends of the lost are powerful stories.
Sometimes things are lost and found and lost again. Schliemann found his stash of ‘Trojan’ gold — really the loot from a royal burial — and installed it in Berlin. Sometime during the last months of WWII, some of his treasures went to Russia with and were never returned to Berlin, where the Neues Museum displays beautiful copies of the missing pieces. (Of course, Schliemann and his successors didn’t consider sending it all back to Turkey, either.) A legend of treasure lost, lost and lost again.
I recently heard about an extraordinary rediscovery of a treasure trove of stories — fairy tales. When the Grimm brothers collected stories they weren’t as comprehensive as I’d imagined. Many folk tales didn’t make the cut and were thought lost forever until the moldy old collection of another story aggregator was discovered.
I stumbled on this tidbit, and one of the stories, while wandering the Internet. Where else does one find such wacky treasures? I’m not sure that the rediscovered tale of the Turnip Princess is going to give Snow White a run for her money, but it does shake up the old canon of Fairy Tales. Maybe there are a whole lot more of them? Maybe a few with characters that break the Grimm’s passive princess model?
What does all of this have to do with MONSTERS? A lot — if you let your imagination wander. What happens to the monsters that are forgotten? Where do they go when they no longer figure in nightmares or travel through the shadows just outside the civilized world? Do they linger in the twilight hoping to be found again, and feared again, once more?
Rediscovered Fairy Tale