Monday, March 22, 2010

Once Upon a Time Challenge: Post the First

Being the slightly obsessive-compulsive person that I am, I set out to find a good literary definition of folklore. After accomplishing this first task, I then set out to find a definitive list of suggestions of books that would be considered folklore/folktales. Sadly, such a list does not exist (at least not that I could find).

Based on my understanding that folklore has to do with the lives of people, tends to present some sort of explanation or truth, and, unlike myths, explains something without having a religous message, I've decided that Impossible, by Nancy Werlin, fits the bill. Inspired by the ballad "Scarborough Fair", it is the story of a girl who has to figure out a way to escape the family curse: she must perform three impossible tasks (hence the title) or be cursed with madness when her first child is born. Probably not strictly folklore, but it's close enough for me and my loose grasp of what could be considered folklore.

I tend to be much more familiar with the other three categories (fantasy, fairy tale, and myth) in this challenge. Out of the three, I've read the most in the fantasy genre, and most fantasy reading that I do tends to lead to more and more (I sort of go on fantasy kicks and then will leave the genre for quite a while), so do suggest any other good novels that you would consider folklore (note: I'm not particularly interested in reading a collection of folktales from any given culture; I would prefer to read a novel or interpretation of traditional folklore).

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