Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Ember" at Teach Me Tonight

Teach Me Tonight is a blog that looks at the romance genre from an academic perspective. I've enjoyed many of their posts and am just tickled that Laura Vivanco chose to mention Ember in todays post, Beyond the Fairytale which discusses the Cinderella motif in romance novels.

On the subject of re-imagining and retelling fairytales, Eloisa James wrote an article called "My Fairy Godmother, Myself" in which she argues that
Cinderella was never about the prince. It was about the wonders of a magical transformation. [...] That turns out to be the key to rewritten Cinderellas: the heroine learns to honor and appreciate her pre-transformation self, forcing the prince to do so as well.
I'm not really sure if that would be true of Embers, but maybe we can discuss that in the comments.
My first instinct was to post and say that of course it isn't true of Ember. The second paragraph of the story is:
This is no fairytale. The real story doesn’t even start with me; it starts with the Prince.
I would also have added that one of the reasons I wrote Ember was to write a Cinderella story that was not about the cosmetic transformation or the ball or the competition between Cinderella and her stepsisters for the prince, but to explore the line that fairy tales so often draw between good girls and bad women, between virtuous princesses and wicked queens.

But here's my question and the real point of my post: Do I have any right to comment? Would it stifle discussion?

I've talked before about learning to let go of my stories once they're written. And I've talked about how it's important for me that Ember be a free story, since I would not have written it if I hadn't needed some content for my website. But now it seems to me that the biggest part of letting go, and of making Ember free, is letting other people make what they will of it without my input or explanations of what I meant.

And yes, I am aware that this post adds another layer of the very sort of explanation I just decided I shouldn't do. But letting go is a process, people--a journey. I'm working on it. :o)