Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's Myths--The Fairy

It seems fitting that I start Monday's Myths off with the fairy, considering that is precisely what the Auri in my book are.

The fairy, or faerie, has its origins in many different cultures all over world, though people today are most familiar with the Northern European variety. The word itself finds its roots in "fey" or "fay," which means "wee folk."

We tend to visualize stunningly beautiful little creatures with delicate wings, but depending on the culture and/or story, the fairy comes in a variety of classes. Some fairies are a form of the dead (i.e. the Banshee), while others are demons or near-demons. Near-demons were neither good enough to stay in Heaven, nor evil enough to be banished to Hell. Instead, they were cast away to live on Earth where these misvhievous little creatures would steal human babies to replace them with their own, ugly babies. These types of fairies closely resembled gnomes or trolls and flew by way of magic, rather than wings. It was not until very recently that fairies have been depicted with clear, insect-like or butterfly wings.

However, there were tales of fairies that were probably the foundation of what we tend to think of when we think of fairies. These tales told of stunningly beautiful women who would lure men to their homes in the woods (or sea) to have sexual relations with them. In fact, there is a Scandinavian tale of the Huldra, a beautiful, often naked woman with a tail who would reward men who satisfied her and kill those who did not. It is believed that this tale also led to the origin of the mermaid.

Fairies have fascinated writers throughout history, as seen in works such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare and countless other works dealing with King Arthur (Morgan le Fay). It will be interesting to see how the fairy will adapt to modern storytelling in the years to come.

In other news, a fellow writer, Lydia Sharp, has been gracious enough to ask me to be a guest blogger on The Sharp Angle (a blog about all things science fiction). Stop by on Wednesday, the 30th, to read my review of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot.

~Emily White

1 comment:

  1. I love the whole idea of fairies. It's so fun. I remember in England several years ago there was a hoax where these two young girls photographed what looked like fairies in their garden. It was a very clever hoax because it got people talking and thinking and wondering what if...



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