File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 205


Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 21:16:36 -0400
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Talking Animals


Human beings are more vulnerable to an appeal to innocence when watching
animal characters rather than representations of their own species. Humans
being a particularly competitive and vicious species of ape, they will tend
to watch the suffering of another human being and either feel a) vaguely
superior for not suffering themselves or b) quiet satisfaction that there is
one less competitor. For an animal we may feel sympathy, at least until we
start outsourcing the jobs to chimps and puppies. How cute can a kitten be
when that very cuteness might win it that theatrical grant you've been
chasing after?misanthropically yrs.
Alexander

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Bil Bug <thatpuppetguy-AT-q.com> wrote:

> People, to paraphrase the comic Louis Anderson, can always accept a story
> better when it=92s in an animal form=97 because the animal in us can relate to
> the animal in the story.
>
> Wayne Krefting
> Woodland Puppets
> www.otisrabbit.com
>
> .-------------------------------------------
> From: <puppetpro-AT-aol.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:41 PM
> To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
> Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Talking Animals
>
> > The reasons that animals talk in folk and fairy tales are numerous. They
> > can represent various things -- from emotions, desires, fears...to
> > character types, or, like in the Narnian tales, Christ.
> > I'm not sure what children's literature would be like without talking
> > animals.
> >
> > Rolande
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: HobgoblinH-AT-aol.com
> > To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
> > Sent: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 7:19 am
> > Subject: [Puptcrit] Talking Animals
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Dear All--
> >
> > In reference to a previous e-mail I sent, something of a tirade in
> > reference to the joys of anthropomorphism, I offer this odd  anecdote.
> >
> > By way of intro, I teach in the public schools, and German is one subject
> > I teach. Because the textbooks available on the market offer no stories
> > that
> > appeal to me-- most nowadays are modern conversations about schoolwork or
> > travel  or friends-- I have written a few fairy tales in German, because
> > the
> > textbooks  of a hundred years ago more often had fables, fairy tales, and
> > heroic  tales, which are more challenging linguistically, but more fun to
> > struggle  though. Besides, the Germans have a grand tradition of fairy
> > tales
> > and heroic  tales.
> >
> > That being said, I was speaking to another teacher friend, who was
> > talking
> > about retiring, and I asked him how he would keep from getting bored in
> > retirement. He said he was thinking about illustrating children's books,
> > as he
> > had been an artist most of his life, and he had a brother who was a
> >
> > publisher of  such things. I mentioned that I had written some stories,
> > but one
> > was my  favorite, and it would be nice to see it printed. He was
> > interested,
> > so I  translated it into English for him, and with some nervousness
> handed
> > it
> > over. He seemed pretty excited, and read it over a few times and got back
> > to me  the next day.
> >
> > The upshot was, he told me that his grandmother had told him children's
> > stories should never have talking animals in them. (The story involves a
> > bear, a fish, an old woman, and a jester. They all talk, and the bear is
> > the
> > main character.) This teacher asked me if I could just change the story a
> > little so that all the talking and plot manipulation could involve the
> > old
> > woman and the jester, so that the bear wouldn't have to talk -- never
> mind
> > the
> > fish.
> >
> > My mouth was hanging open. I really could not argue very coherently,
> > because on such a subject, the waters run too deep. All I could say was
> > that I
> > had read endless stories for children in which animals talked, and the
> > teacher  said, yes, but his grandmother had written children's fiction --
> > as if
> > that made  her the last court of appeal. Yes, I could have said all kinds
> > of
> > clever things,  but if an illustrator feels animals shouldn't talk, then
> > he
> > obviously can't  illustrate the story. So I told him the point wasn't
> > negotiable; end of  story.
> >
> > Except it didn't end there. My head was buzzing for days about all=2
> > 0the
> > things I should have said -- Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh,
> Grimm's
> > Tales, and on and on. I felt guilty for all the grand books I had not
> > defended.
> > Then I resolved to overcome all the technical difficulties which  had
> > prevented us from doing the story as a puppet show, just to get  the
> thing
> > out
> > of my system. So spring begins, and I'm back to carving, starting  with
> > the
> > poor, maligned bear, who shouldn't be allowed to talk because he is in  a
> > children's story. And the look on his face -- hopeful, yet bewildered and
> > lost
> > -- I know it's my face, because that's just how I felt, hearing from a
> > friend  that animals shouldn't talk in children's stories.
> >
> > What a world,
> > Alice
> >
> > **************The Average US Credit Score is 692. See Yours in Just 2
> Easy
> > Steps!
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> >
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