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Author Topic: Land Spirits/the Fair Folk questions  (Read 10381 times)
Vella Malachite
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« Reply #15: October 12, 2010, 04:55:54 am »

I think of the categories "Gods", Sidhe", and "Ancestors" as being like three attraction points arranged in a triangle on a graph. Most beings are clustered around one of the dots, but there are those that are halfway in between two or three or moving in the direction. There are no clear dividing lines.

As to attracting unwanted beings, I think of it the same way I do of offering to the Fomhor: they are there already and offering to them prevents problems.

The art in the books is based off actual sitings by Froud, at least according to him.

-- K.

The triangle thing makes sense.  Yay, visual representations of abstract concepts!

Mm, I thought that would be better than ignoring them, in the long run...at least I may be able to make them less inclined to cause problems?  Not that some of them aren't likely to just cause problems for kicks and giggles, but hey.

And as for the 'Good Faeries/Bad Faeries' debate, I had a look, and it seemed quirky, and had nice art, but it was a bit...well, I wouldn't use it as my main source of information, really.  It's a source, but I wouldn't use it as the only one.
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Kelley
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« Reply #16: October 12, 2010, 12:29:03 pm »

The triangle thing makes sense.  Yay, visual representations of abstract concepts!

Mm, I thought that would be better than ignoring them, in the long run...at least I may be able to make them less inclined to cause problems?  Not that some of them aren't likely to just cause problems for kicks and giggles, but hey.

And as for the 'Good Faeries/Bad Faeries' debate, I had a look, and it seemed quirky, and had nice art, but it was a bit...well, I wouldn't use it as my main source of information, really.  It's a source, but I wouldn't use it as the only one.

Well, the good news is that you aren't attracting them. Smiley

As for Froud, his art could be based on real-life examples and the info in the text still be horrible, at the same time. I don't know; I haven't read it. I'd be interested to hear some reviews, though.


-- K.
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catja6
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« Reply #17: October 13, 2010, 03:33:52 pm »


Froud's a terrific artist, but don't use him as anything like a source.  The text of his earlier book Faeries was near-plagiarized from Katharine Briggs.  Briggs IS a good source -- her scholarship is foundational to the study of fairy lore.  The most useful of her works are The Encyclopedia of Fairies and The Fairies in Tradition and Literature.  I also recommend Carole Silver's Strange and Secret Peoples, which provides an absolutely necessary context for a lot of fairy lore studies; most fairy folklore was collected in the Victorian era, and to make sense of it, one needs to understand something about Victorian attitudes toward gender, class, and race.
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Vella Malachite
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« Reply #18: October 14, 2010, 04:55:29 am »

Froud's a terrific artist, but don't use him as anything like a source.  The text of his earlier book Faeries was near-plagiarized from Katharine Briggs.  Briggs IS a good source -- her scholarship is foundational to the study of fairy lore.  The most useful of her works are The Encyclopedia of Fairies and The Fairies in Tradition and Literature.  I also recommend Carole Silver's Strange and Secret Peoples, which provides an absolutely necessary context for a lot of fairy lore studies; most fairy folklore was collected in the Victorian era, and to make sense of it, one needs to understand something about Victorian attitudes toward gender, class, and race.

Ah, OK.  Gotcha.  Proceeding to not use Froud as a source

I read your recommendation for Briggs on another thread, and I've been waiting to get the money for one of her books (read: I'll probably get the book sometime in the next couple years, if I get my act together).
Would you recommend reading Victorian fairy stories now, or should I get a better grounding in fairies as a whole, in order to better understand the changes they made?
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« Reply #19: October 14, 2010, 01:12:02 pm »

Ah, OK.  Gotcha.  Proceeding to not use Froud as a source

I read your recommendation for Briggs on another thread, and I've been waiting to get the money for one of her books (read: I'll probably get the book sometime in the next couple years, if I get my act together).
Would you recommend reading Victorian fairy stories now, or should I get a better grounding in fairies as a whole, in order to better understand the changes they made?

I'd read the Briggs Encyclopedia first.  There are cheap used copies, and most libraries (especially university libraries) have it.  Then I'd read the Victorian texts at the same time as I'm reading the Silver.  That's how I'd structure things if I were teaching a university class on the subject.

If you want to read the Victorian studies first -- and I don't blame you, as lots of them are available for free on Sacred Texts -- bear in mind that Victorian attitudes about gender, class, race, and colonialism are ALL OVER them.  So, absorb the actual collected data, but take all the theorizing and contextualizing with many, many grains of salt. 
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Vella Malachite
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« Reply #20: October 18, 2010, 10:40:26 pm »

I'd read the Briggs Encyclopedia first.  There are cheap used copies, and most libraries (especially university libraries) have it.  Then I'd read the Victorian texts at the same time as I'm reading the Silver.  That's how I'd structure things if I were teaching a university class on the subject.

If you want to read the Victorian studies first -- and I don't blame you, as lots of them are available for free on Sacred Texts -- bear in mind that Victorian attitudes about gender, class, race, and colonialism are ALL OVER them.  So, absorb the actual collected data, but take all the theorizing and contextualizing with many, many grains of salt. 

Yay, another reason to look forward to university!!  Grin

OK, I'll look for the Briggs first.  I've got plenty of other stuff I can read before I get onto the Victorian stuff.  Thanks!
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« Reply #21: October 21, 2010, 02:33:04 am »

Yay, another reason to look forward to university!!  Grin

OK, I'll look for the Briggs first.  I've got plenty of other stuff I can read before I get onto the Victorian stuff.  Thanks!

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz is a must read if you really want to get into the folk beliefs about fairies. It's a wonderful, scholarly work, but not nearly as dry as you'd think. It's free on, I think, Sacred Texts, and it sounds like the newer editions aren't as good for some reason, so you might as well not spend money on them, eh? Wink
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« Reply #22: October 21, 2010, 03:16:49 am »

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz is a must read if you really want to get into the folk beliefs about fairies. It's a wonderful, scholarly work, but not nearly as dry as you'd think. It's free on, I think, Sacred Texts, and it sounds like the newer editions aren't as good for some reason, so you might as well not spend money on them, eh? Wink

It's also incredibly outdated.  He's got a lot of good data, but again, the theorizing -- including all the scholarly interpretation and apparatus -- should be taken with an enormous pile of salt.
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Ainwyn
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« Reply #23: October 21, 2010, 03:56:26 pm »

It's also incredibly outdated.  He's got a lot of good data, but again, the theorizing -- including all the scholarly interpretation and apparatus -- should be taken with an enormous pile of salt.

The theories can be problematic, of course, but they always are. It's more of the ethnography that's important. That he actually went and collected folk beliefs is why I suggested it. You can come to your own interpretation of the information he collected.  I definitely should have been a little less brief in my post, but that's what I get for writing in forums late at night Smiley

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catja6
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« Reply #24: October 21, 2010, 05:09:36 pm »

The theories can be problematic, of course, but they always are. It's more of the ethnography that's important. That he actually went and collected folk beliefs is why I suggested it. You can come to your own interpretation of the information he collected.  I definitely should have been a little less brief in my post, but that's what I get for writing in forums late at night Smiley

Some theories are a lot more problematic than others, though, and it's important to understand the differences.  And the theories E-W had about folklore, and who has it and why, did affect where he went and who he talked to, so that information is always necessary.
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Ainwyn
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« Reply #25: October 21, 2010, 10:17:34 pm »

Some theories are a lot more problematic than others, though, and it's important to understand the differences.  And the theories E-W had about folklore, and who has it and why, did affect where he went and who he talked to, so that information is always necessary.

It's been a while since I've read it and I've learned a lot since then, so I'll give it another read through some point when I have the time and figure out the best things to bring up before suggesting it to anyone again. Thanks for bringing that up Smiley

Does anyone know how The Secret Commonwealth and the Fairy Belief Complex by Brian Walsh is? It's been suggested to me and I got it a few months ago, but I haven't had the time to read it yet.
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Tana
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« Reply #26: October 22, 2010, 05:38:33 am »

I think of the categories "Gods", Sidhe", and "Ancestors" as being like three attraction points arranged in a triangle on a graph. Most beings are clustered around one of the dots, but there are those that are halfway in between two or three or moving in the direction. There are no clear dividing lines.

This is well said.
I came to this conclusion too, but you put it in good, understandable words.  Smiley
May I steal this?
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #27: October 25, 2010, 06:14:28 pm »

This is well said.
I came to this conclusion too, but you put it in good, understandable words.  Smiley
May I steal this?

If you have my permission to use it, I'm not sure I'd call it stealing. Smiley

Feel free!

-- K.
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« Reply #28: October 25, 2010, 08:15:31 pm »

Froud's a terrific artist, but don't use him as anything like a source.  The text of his earlier book Faeries was near-plagiarized from Katharine Briggs.

I was about to comment that Faeries - which I just found secondhand - seemed to be a more reliable book, but now I know why.  Grin
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« Reply #29: October 26, 2010, 04:02:26 am »

If you have my permission to use it, I'm not sure I'd call it stealing. Smiley

Feel free!

-- K.

Thanks!  Kiss
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

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