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The Devil's Wife

As is usual, the day I pick to do some moving, it starts pouring rain. It's one of those downpours so intense that you can only drive at ten miles an hour, and when you finally get home, the fifteen feet from car to house leaves you drenched to the bone. About all you can do is resign yourself, get in the house, peel your soggy clothes off, and head straight into the shower. And then blog while you wait for the weather to clear.

However, for a brief period this morning, we experienced that Southern weather classic, where the sun is blazingly bright, behind a thin skin of cloud, and it's raining, so you can watch rain drops splatter the concrete in your own sharp-edged shadow. It's unsettling and weird, and the Southern colloquialism (albeit rather archaic now) for this weather is "The Devil's beating his wife."

James and I learned this awhile ago and have been using it with glee ever since, because it is So Damn Weird.

This morning, while bored and driving, I began pondering the theological ramifications. You never hear about the Devil's wife. Lilith, Adam's first wife, gets a lot of popular press, but one generally hears about Satan as a bachelor. Who's this battered spouse suffering untold indignities whenever it's sunny and raining?
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Oooh, I really like your version of the Bluebeard story. It's itching the writer part of my brain in a most delightful way. I've been trying to get that part to kick-start again.. perhaps the itching will help.. hehe

Interesting that Grimm Fairy Tales should pop up on my flist today; I just spent three-quarters of an hour researching the Pied Piper story and its variants.

I would seriously love to read a comic book series where each issue/trade told a story out of Grimm or Anderson.

Have you heard of Fables?
I don't think it's quite what you're looking for, but it's interesting. It's sort of a fairy tales meet modern day setting, with "fairy tales" encompassing everything from Goldilocks to Jungle Book to Animal farm.

Heh. Sadly, Bluebeard is one of those stories that will never ever make it into a collection of illustrated classics.

It's such a good story though! I have no idea why they won't do it. *giggles*

Well, it's in the beautifully-illustrated The Classic Fairy Tales, collected by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie and chock-full of the scary weird old versions, paired with newer, comfier versions. This was my fairy tale collection as a child.

a self-absorbed woman who doesn't bother to open the door (on the principle that everbody deserves privacy, and it's probably some smoke-stained den with ugly wood panelling and porn lying around) and Bluebeard going slowly nuts trying to get her to open the door so he can kill her (since once a serial killer, always a serial killer.) Never went anywhere, but maybe some day...

Oh my gosh, this gave me total goosebumps. I have a work in progress that is stubbornly not going anywhere, and this might be the key to finishing it. Thank you!

The heroine .. dips herself in honey and rolls herself in feathers.

Add a little chocolate sauce and a leather duvet, and you're ready to party!

this is usually read as a repressive indictment against female curiosity...

Because everybody knows it's OK to chop someone to bits if they poke around your room uninvited, right? There's more than one body buried under the floor of my studio!

...instead of the rather more logical tract on the inadvisability of keeping one's murderered wives stored around the house.

Wait, hang on, I should be taking notes here...

Heh. Hearing any unexpected heartbeats late at night?

(A reference to Edgar Allen Poe, for those that might not be familiar)

Well, I've certainly enjoyed the way you reviewed the Bluebeard and variation "fairy tales."
Being the fairy tale freak that I am, I think you should make a whole series out of it ;) Sort of like Ursula's book club:
"This week we're going to pick apart The Bremen Town Musicians..."

In the Netherlands, rain during sunshine is called 'Carnival in Hell'. This thread is starting to collect quite a lot of names for that, isn't it?

I really, really need to read that story now.

Neat story!

Several Southwest indian tribes say "Coyote's having sex." when it rains in the sunshine. A not-too-rare occurance in the desert.

Disney has mined (strip-mined?) so many fairy tales and yet, Bluebeard remains unmolested.
Poor Victor Hugo got the treatment.
Even anime (though it's based on Jules Verne stuff) felt the Disney touch (you know, Atlantis).
But no Bluebeard for youuuuuuuuuu!

I have a soft spot for Beauty And The Beast, but only the Jean Cocteau film version,
which I hope you've seen because, holy crap, it's the best live action fairy tale movie EVAR!

The third and cleverer one leaves her egg or whatever in her room, finds the hidden room, and reassembles her dismembered sisters, bringing them back to life, and sends them home.

In Shamanistic traditions, there was often a vision of dismemberment & reassembly that was done by a family member.

that reminds me of the story of isis an osiris.

after seth had chopped osiris into pieces and spread those pieces all over egypt, isis collected them and put them back together. just one part of the body was missing...

ahm... anyway... horus was was conceived after osiris was reassembled.

My Cuban mother is fond of saying "the Devil's daughter is getting married" when it's sunny and raining. I don't know why.

In the Event of a Kidnapping, Press the 2 Key...

Remind me to deliver honey and feathers if you ever get captured.

I took a Children's Lit class in college. The original fairy tales of Cinderella, Snow White and what not weren't originally for kids, and were much more gruesome than the Disney versions we have today.

For instance, in Cinderella, when the Prince was trying to find her by matching the slipper up with the foot, one of the wicked stepsisters cut her toes off to make it fit. It was only after he saw blood oozing out from her slipper that he figured out she was not the original wearer of the glass footwear.

It might be fun to look up all the original tales one day whenever you're bored. I just recommend staying away from 1001 Arabian Nights. There are only so many stories about the benefits of beating your wife and livestock that I can take. I think 2 is my limit. 1001 is a bit much.

For instance, in Cinderella, when the Prince was trying to find her by matching the slipper up with the foot, one of the wicked stepsisters cut her toes off to make it fit. It was only after he saw blood oozing out from her slipper that he figured out she was not the original wearer of the glass footwear.

i read it that way when i was a kid... i think some pigeons tell him, that there is blood in the shoe, or something like that.

People forget that even the framing story for 1001 Nights was sex and violence.
I have a 3 volume, illustrated, slipcased, unexpergated edition of the Burton translation. Footnotes and all.
Mine, mine all mine!

Ooh, much envy in your general direction. My edition is some rather bland translation glossing over the details and no sort of illustrations, just pages of pages text.

Where/how did you aquire a nice edition?