Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Annotated Frog Prince

Julie Danielson, a.k.a. Jules of the fabulous Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast duo, created a lovely annotated Frog Prince/Frog King webpage when she was in library school. These kinds of projects illustrate how useful hypertext links can be in reading material. The "Quiz" feature is no longer active (and I'm really curious now to find out what it originally entailed) but just about everything else should be in place for you to find out the intricacies of this story that often begins Grimms' fairy tale collections.

I once wrote a poem about the Frog Prince. Reading it gave my friends the feeling of claustrophobia, which was a accurate assessment of how I felt about the story. There's lots to study with layers of meaning (different layers, depending upon who's interpreting the story), but everyone except the Frog Prince's servant, Iron Henry, is pretty irritating to the point of being stifling. The princess is spoiled, the frog is pushy, and the king tells the princess that she has to keep her promise when the reader gets the feeling the princess is too young to be involved in a binding contract. Also, who started the rumor that the princess kissed the frog? At the climax of the story, what frees the frog from his enchantment is not an act of love but one of violence. This is no Beauty and the Beast.

6 comments:

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Wow, I feel so special! Thanks.

Yes, this is, hands down, the weirdest fairy tale. Throwing the frog against the wall? Pretty wacked. (How's that for scholarly-sounding?).

It's interesting that you point out Iron Henry being the only character you don't want to smack upside the head. The bands-around-his-heart bit gets me every time. I've always wanted to write a story about that notion. Or a whole novel.

Oh, and the quiz? This was for a grad school in which we had to show we knew how to create web pages "by hand"---or, using HTML, not WYSIWYG contraptions---and we had learned how to create online quizes (this is the reason there is also a trailing cursor there, things which are generally rather obnoxious, but I at least altered it to make the trailing dots not-so-big). I also, at that time and on that page, was plugging a contemporary stage adaptation of The Frog King that my children's theatre for the deaf in Knoxville was performing at that time. I really need to just get rid of that whole page, but it's not a quick, easy task, since the page names in the menu on each page are roll-over images.

Thanks again! I admit: I'm quite fond of this project. I am an Annotation Nerd. Love to read annotated works. Loved annotating something myself.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Oh, I see....The Quiz page does work. You meant the actual quiz itself.

That was just nerdy questions about the tale -- again, just to show that I knew how to make quizzes.

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

What fun! It looks great. I love annotations, footnotes, all that scholarly apparatus. Not a big fan of the frog prince either, though!

One of my favorite websites is www.surlalunefairytales.com -- an essential online reference, and I love looking at the all the book covers for the different retellings of tales.

Lone Star Ma said...

Those illustrations with "the tale" are the same that are in the book of faerie tales I had as a child.

TadMack said...

Sara Beth Durst has the coolest page on her blog of completely random fairy tales which she collected whilst writing her two books -- you must check them out. Quel strange stuff -- and this story is ...pretty whacked. Honestly.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Ah yes, I've come across Sur La Lune a number of times when doing research for blog posts! I'll have to check out the Sara Beth Durst blog.