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Showing posts from May, 2013

Bunyips in early Australian fairy tales

It has been suggested that the jokey humour of ‘Mr. Bunyip’ set the tone for the description of bunyips in later books.  To an eager Mary Somerville who has strayed from the path in a ‘Red Riding Hood like’ ramble Mr. Bunyip is not a monster who wants to eat her but is a kind hearted chap giving her some social and historical pointers. The Murray River and Melbourne contrast with the magic of the talking beast and references to the old country (England).
Mary has all the qualities needed to be the 'perfect' Colonial gal. She is a good scholar, winning school prizes, obeying her father, is trustworthy, neat, prayful and rises early. The disparity between her goodness with Mr. Bunyip’s admission of alcoholism and wife beating is thought provoking. Mr. Bunyip is forgiven by his wife for this lapse into the unacceptable practice of thrashing one’s wife as he was under the influence of the evil alcohol.   However, the fish in the river who become silly and meander stunned and dazed …

An Afternoon in Fairy Land

'An Afternoon in Fairy land' sounded enticing. Discovered quite by chance via the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy The Monash Fairy Tale Salon held an 'afternoon in fairy land' to honour the exhibition, In Fairy Land: an exhibition of Fairy Tale Books from the Monash Rare Books Collection. Brilliant that it was happening on my weekly study day!
Although Phillippa and I have championed storytelling as a way to enhance language skills, develop an understanding of linguistic structures and achieve significant gains in Literacy achievement levels it was an absorbing, and relaxing, experience to be the listener rather than the teller. Louisa John-Krol began the afternoon enchanting us with a traditional tale of riddles and overcoming 'the monster'. David Haworth read his invented fairytale 'The Bone Flute', a collage of fairy tales motifs, plots, characters and a twist (that I won't reveal as I'm sure it will be published somewhere)…