John Clark "Small, Vulnerable ETs": The Green Children of Woolpit // Science Fiction Studies — Vol.33, No.2 (Jul., 2006), pp.209-229 (653)

Название
"Small, Vulnerable ETs": The Green Children of Woolpit

Cited by Francis Godwin in his The Man in the Moone (1638), the story of the “Green Children” of Woolpit (in Suffolk, in eastern England) remains a fascinating footnote in the history of speculative fiction. It has generated entries in dictionaries of fantasy literature (Clute and Grant 437), folklore (Simpson and Roud 153-4), fairies (Briggs, Dictionary of Fairies 200-1), “The Unexplained” (Clark 133-4), and “alien encounters” (Baker 123-4). It has been cited in academic discussions of the methods of twelfth-century historians (by Partner 115-28, among others). It is the original exemplar of a standard folktale motif (Baughman 203). It has been described as “a classic of forteana” in the magazine Fortean Times (Minyak).

Two approaches have dominated these citations. Some see the tale as a folktale, a typical narrative of an encounter with the people of a fairy Otherworld; others accept it as a garbled account of an actual occurrence — an “unexplained” event that warrants explanation.

The tale has been retold a number of times, often for young readers — and usually on the premise that it is “an old English folktale.” It has inspired novels, poetry, plays and music. In the 1960s it even spawned a modern “unexplained mysteries” version of itself, said to have occurred in nineteenth-century Spain.

Recently Diane Purkiss compared the story to the work of Jorge Luis Borges: “The best thing to do with this beautiful oddity is to leave it alone in its Borgesian glory” — but she then succumbed, as many have, to the temptation to interpret it as a story of fairy-folk (62-3).

This paper looks at some of the ways the story has been treated, and its influence in later literature.

Название периодического издания
Science Fiction Studies
Номер периодического издания
Vol.33, No.2 (Jul., 2006)
Год издания
2006
Язык
Английский
Статьи с использованием данного источника


Комментарии

Только зарегистрированные пользователи могут оставлять комментарии. Пожалуйста, войдите или зарегистрируйтесь. Only registered users can post a new comment. Please login or register. Only registered users can post a new comment. Please login or register.