Scandareview #4: Erisichthon

This is my last week at home before heading back to school, and due to the ridiculous amount of stress created by cramming a large amount of things into several small bags, I’ve again made the decision to talk about a fairy tale (or myth, in this case) that I’m familiar with. I’ve also been taking some time to think about Scandareviews and the direction I want them to go in, and I want to discuss that before plunging headlong into the tale of horrible tree-chopping daughter-selling Erisichthon.

I love doing Scandareviews. I really enjoy them, even though I’ve only done four so far — but a nagging voice in the back of my head kept telling me last week that my Blondine review was too long, and I’m afraid it was right. I’m not sure it’s too long for readers — I’m definitely not an expert at figuring out what readers like and don’t like, and this blog is really for me — but I think I’d majorly underestimated the amount of work involved in the reviews I’ve published so far.

I don’t want the quality of them to lessen, and I definitely don’t want to drop the project, so my decision for now is to try to make Scandareviews more concise. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do that, but with the added load of schoolwork and the coming semester, I’m just going to have to find a way to cross that bridge. We’ll see how things go!

Anyway, today’s story comes from my beloved Bulfinch’s Mythology, which contains some of the best rainy-day reading in the world.

I was surprised to discover “Erisichthon” when I read it my sophomore year in high school, because until then, my main source for Greek and Roman mythology had been the D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, which it’s conspicuously absent from. It’s a dark, cold-winds-in-December kind of story, and not many people seem to have heard it before.

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Scandareview #2: Prince Ivan and Princess Martha

Today’s post is a flashback from last semester, when this book (below) was the source of nearly all my homework assignments. I can’t tell you how many hours we spent reading feverishly on the lawns, trying to cram in as much Afanas’ev as we could in case we had a reading quiz and there was a question on firebirds. Although it was a great class and I have all sorts of wonderful memories from it, I have to say it was liberating to read my copy of Russian Fairy Tales by choice this time. We’d probably read most the stories in it by the time the semester ended, but as far as I can remember, we didn’t read this one, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

In case you were wondering, the randomness of my fairy tale selection process hasn’t changed a whit since last week. I opened the book, thought, “which ones haven’t I read that aren’t really short?” and went with the first write-about-able one I found. But I’m proud to say “Prince Ivan and Princess Martha” turned out to be unceasingly exciting, incredibly weird, and chock full of things to comment on. And so I will proceed to comment.

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Scandareview #1: The White Cat

When I came up with the idea of doing weekly fairy tale reviews/commentaries/mumblings (I think I might just start using “Scandareview” as an extremely bad pun and umbrella term), I really liked the idea of not planning out which stories I was going to read and just sort of letting them find me. This week’s story did exactly that. I was talking to my father about Scandaroona last week when he suddenly ran down to the extremely cluttered basement (the sort you are likely to have an adventure in simply by visiting it) and returned with The Blue Fairy Book.


Apparently he owned it — and loved it, by the look of it — when he was about five or six, and had prized it so much he’d kept it as an adult. Who says boys can’t read fairy tales?! Clearly they can. He’d also circled some favorite stories in the Table of Contents, so I decided to use that as a guide. After all, what recommendation could be better than one given by your six-year-old father?

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