Jan. 21st, 2013

karenhealey: Rainbow Dash overcome with excitement (My Little Pony) (Default)
Internets, the next Sleeping Beauty essay was going to be on the theme of politics in Sleeping Beauty stories, and it was going to be about Jane Yolen's Briar Rose and Sheri S. Tepper's Beauty.

However, having given my last copy of Briar Rose away the last time I moved countries, I could not find a replacement anywhere. I didn't expect it to be on bookshop shelves, but I hunted on ebook stores, and through the catalogues of two different library districts, and on NZ online stores that sell paperbacks and nothing. Nothing! Not a single copy of Briar Rose for easy access.

I was almost relieved, because Briar Rose is a beautiful, brilliant book that punches you repeatedly in the heart. It is devastating. When you read it, you cry, and not in a delicate single crystalline tear way, but in the way where you make horrible hurting noises and your stomach aches from the air you're gulping in, and not only is your nose running uncontrollably, but the snot is dribbling right into your mouth and you can't even pull it together enough to wipe your nose because you are crying too hard.

And THEN. You read the afterword.

When I say you, I mean me. I don't know how the actual you would respond, but I wouldn't recommend reading it on public transport.

Anyway, as much as I enjoy emotional destruction through vicarious agony at both the cruelty and beauty of what people did during the Holocaust (I do not enjoy it) I decided I was not going to give up on including this book in the essay series. It is too important to Sleeping Beauty stories, and it is too important to me.

So I bought a copy on the book depository, and it is on its way! Ah, the future. I am super spoilt.

I will write a mini essay on Beauty and Briar Rose each, and while that will look a little unbalanced, because I think one book is brilliant and persuasive and the other is brilliant in parts but poorly argued and odd, it'll be fine. All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

But boy. It's going to take some tears.

April 2014

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