Cabinet des Fées
is one of my favorite fairy tale-oriented publications on the Internet today: between this webzine edited by Erzebet Yellowboy
and then Goblin Fruit
under the auspices of Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica Paige Wick, some of the sadness left by the closing of Endicott Studio
's The Journal of Mythic Arts
in 2008 has abated.Cabinet des Fées
recently switched to formally updating three times a year, which means we get three issues of Scheherezade's Bequest
with each turn of the wheel! This is a fine thing indeed: three issues full of poetry and prose, all tangled in the fairy tale aesthetic. The publication is pretty much guaranteed to offer new perspectives, old tales thrown askew. I'm ever eager to see what Erz brings in her basket: always the sweetest fruit, and the wicked too.
With the January 2010 update, Cabinet des Fées also debuted a new skin: dense and luscious, the fresh layout reminds me of all the excellent content already published there (Folkpunk 101
! Interviews with Mike Allen
and the Goblin Fruit ladies
!) and leaves me eager for future updates. Plus, that title banner is lovely and the bright red apple in its center the most appropriate touch.
I'm sure you've realized by now that this week's highlights involve exhorting you to read Cabinet des Fées
! Really, the whole site is worthy of your close perusal, especially if you're interested in fairy tales and folklore. Indeed, allow me now to segue into discussing my favorite pieces from the ninth issue
of Scheherezade's Bequest
Among the poetry selections for this issue, I found four particularly worthy of mention. "Tahlia, Risen
" by Joshua Gage is a beautifully composed reflection on "Sun, Moon, and Talia
" with a shivery, macabre turn at the close. "Bad Mothers
" by Anne Brannen appeals to my "wicked girls saving themselves" sensibility, though I was at first surprised by the selfishness espoused by the narrator at the end; upon reflection, however, a little selfishness and hermit-like behavior is fair enough. "Song at a Cottage Door
" by Megan Arkenberg inspired a gleeful exclamation of "Oh, I love this!" Really, it could be the beginning of a cautionary tale or a grand adventure, or both. Christopher W. Clark's "At the Palace of the North Wind
" is a gorgeous piece about the life cycles of winds and the Lapland Witches.
I found nearly all of the fiction to be outstanding, beginning with the deliciously charged vignette "Her Heart Would Surely Break in Two
," in which Michelle Labbé gives us a lesbian interpretation of "The Goose Girl
." Anna Yardney's "In the Forest of Thorn
" was also a lovely subversion, this time of the "Sleeping Beauty" trope, where we discover that, sometimes, perhaps it's best to let sleeping princesses lie. The last story, "The Wolf I Want
" was a truly compelling and visceral retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood
" and, while it gave me pause in the beginning, it left me growlingly delighted by the end.
Also, I'd really like to given an honorable mention to "Nor Yet Feed the Swine
" by Keyan Bowes - it had the makings of an excellent story and was not bad at all. I just felt that it would be even better expanded into a novel and not squished into a short story.
If you've read this issue of Scheherezade's Bequest
, what did you think?This entry originally posted at Livejournal on January 29th, 2010. You can comment here or there.