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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lowe & Jacobson - Taxicabs of Paris - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The Taxis of Paris - World War I
The book, Fifty Famous Stories, written and compiled by Samuel E. Lowe and Viola E. Jacobson didn't look all that impressive when I first saw it in a used book store.  As you may have guessed, I'm a bibliomaniac and, when it comes to old books, I am drawn like a bee on a mission in field of wildflowers.  The 1920 book has the cheapest of yellowing paper, it was published by a company that tended to appeal to the adults buying inexpensive but "good" reading material for children, and the front cover illustration by Neil O'Keefe of "John Smith and Pocahontas" didn't grab me
any more than the back cover of Joan of Arc.  There wasn't even a Table of Contents!  It certainly wasn't indexed in the books I check when on the prowl.

Even at that I let myself flip through the book.  Many of the stories were about famous historical incidents or people, while some were mythological or Biblical stories and a few other well-known literary tales.  O.k. I must have let myself read a story or two and was willing to pay $13.00 for it.  At home I entered it in the AZZ Cardfile I keep of my books, in this case listing all the stories since I knew I'd never think to open it otherwise.

I'm so glad I did!

This past week was the second of two preview programs about the "Hello Girls" and World War I.  After polishing the program and its music of the era, I was still not ready to set it aside and checked to see what I might have about World War I safely in Public Domain.  Today's story is a legend French school children know well, but is unknown to most of us here in the United States.  I'm going to post it and then send you to "the rest of the story."

































 Looking at the covers of Fifty Famous Stories and flipping through the books contents, it's obvious Lowe and Jacobson were intent on preserving legends rather than digging into fact.  By 1920 this story had traveled into the province of legend, even if more familiar in France than here.

The Smithsonian may head their article "A fleet of taxis did not really save Paris from the Germans during World WarI" , but the facts they reveal still makes a darned good story and includes enough that you might agree with the article's conclusion, "And a century later, there are few symbols more enduring or important in France than the Taxis of the Marne."  While you're at it, scroll down further on the page to read the article's accumulated comments.

For now I'm going to post the end papers in the front and back of Fifty Famous Stories as it gives a charming visual of the way legends spur our imagination, and that's part of what the Public Domain does in giving us a way to look back at our cultural heritage.

*****

This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  


At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so one can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression he likes by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm

He also loaded to his server the doctorate thesis of Prof. Dov Noy (Neunan) "Motif-index of Talmudic-Midrahic literature" Indiana University, 1954, as a PDF file.
in the hope that some of you would make use of it.

You can see why that is a site I recommend to you.

Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pershing's "Switchboard Soldiers", Oleda Joure Christides, and Women's Suffrage


Until recently, like Don C. Warrington, I thought General John Pershing might have been called "Black Jack" because it was his favorite card game.  Not at all.  On Warrington's site I learned like me, Pershing was originally from Missouri with a strong background in working with African-Americans.  When he went into the military this was just his start as the general was noted for his long-time command of the so-called "Buffalo Soldiers", an African-American soldiers regiment begun in the Civil War.  When the U.S. entered World War I, his ideas weren't always accepted.  President Wilson rejected Pershing's request and put all black units under the French.  Since the U.S. had been reluctant to enter the war, Pershing was more successful refusing to be part of the Allied army, instead calling our army the American Expeditionary Force (the AEF).  The war was in a stalemate after three years, the French army had mutinied and the Russian revolution had begun.  Pershing's ideas did more than separate the U.S. army, he created the first women soldiers by requesting bi-lingual phone operators "Over There" who became known as "Hello Girls."

As followers of this site know, I'm working on telling the story of those Hello Girls.  This week was the second of my preview programs testing it with some very different audiences.  I present the story of the women Pershing called "Switchboard Soldiers" through the eyes of Oleda Joure Christides, one of the few women who finally received veteran's status, a process that took roughly 60 years.  It also didn't include most of them because by the late 1970s, out of the 223 serving abroad, only 18 of those serving in France were alive and even then were told they had just become "veterans" and it was not retroactive!

The early 20th century saw the battle for Women's Suffrage come to fulfillment almost everywhere.  (Saudi Arabia waited until the end of 2015 to allow women to vote in municipal elections.)  Here in the U.S. President Wilson initially opposed it, but the war eventually convinced him to support the 19th amendment. I'm rather fond of this August 14, 1917 banner from before the war.

I remember vividly a woman in the now defunct storytelling group, the Mount Clemens Raconteurs, tell of her experience at the voting booth when she was among those first women voters.  It was not something most men of her day were ready to accept!

I don't know if Oleda, who was a teenager needing special permission to go overseas with the other women taking oaths with the Army Signal Corps, ever talked about voting, but she certainly was aware of the decades long struggle to be recognized as more than the "civilian contractor" the Army tried to call her and her fellow soldiers.  Soldier is how they were addressed and Pershing was the one who coined the term "Switchboard Soldiers." The more popular name of "Hello Girls" came from the men relieve to hear "Hello" or "Number Please" instead of coping with the French operators.  Beyond that, their chief operator, Grace Banker, received a Distinguished Service medal when her mobile unit came under fire, and also women could prove they were threatened with court martial.  Both their service and the delay for recognition were definitely a part of the struggle involved in Women's History.

I've promised to produce some of my resources here used in preparation for my program.  Be sure to go to the other articles here under the label, Hello Girls, also found on my ever-growing sidebar of links.  It's the librarian in me that tries to produce as many ways to find information as possible.

I presume online readers are good at online searching.  I've given many links in those Hello Girls articles, especially pointing people to a site created by Oleda's daughter, Michelle Christides, but also want to send you to some articles she wrote for the children's historical magazine, Cobblestone.  If you have access to the Gale Virtual Reference Library database (available here in Michigan through the wonderful Michigan eLibrary) you may access the articles online.  Because they were written in 2006, don't be surprised if you own library has "weeded" them out.  Future researchers may find libraries with space and money constraints don't have old issues, then if a journal can't be afforded in the future you may not find it easily.  Sorry, but I think there's a value in warehousing print, as my own overflowing personal library shows.

Be aware, my focus is oral literature and I don't have a dissertation or other need to follow an official stylesheet in the following bibliography, so if that is your goal it may need rearranging, but still should help you find the material.  I also eagerly await the book Michelle Christides is working to produce.  She has the complete list of the Signal Corps operators and has sought information from their descendants to create their definitive history.  (There were seven units and Oleda was in the sixth, the last to go overseas.)

Because my own work focuses on Marine City telephone operator trainer -- the highest supervisory position open to women at the time -- and musician, Oleda Joure Christides, I am abandoning alphabetical order and starting with C first as her daughter and others in Marine City and beyond have been so helpful and Oleda is my primary focal point.
  • Christides, Michelle - Answering the call - Cobblestone, March 2006 page 20+ (My apologies that this and the next article only give the starting page...they were found using the Gale database which doesn't give the final page number.)
  • Christides, Michelle - A 60 year battle - Cobblestone, March 2006page 39+. (LSK: Because these two articles were written for children, they do an excellent job of pointing out changes in telephones and military terminology adults may overlook.)
  • Michelle also has some additional online articles beyond her own site at the Doughboy Center -- a fascinating WWI site, but huge, if you want to prowl it go to http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/dbc2.htm and prowl each of the 3 icons.  For Oleda's story, it's even beyond that as it's within the "2d Army" section under "Biographies & First Hand Accounts" which is labeled "Under redesign but active."  It includes diaries, letters, and biographies, including four women, among them Marion G. Crandell of the YMCA, who was the first American woman killed in action.
  • Another article by Michelle is a condensed excerpt at the fascinating site by Captain Barb in her Military Women Veterans which looks at American women and their service starting with the American Revolution.
Banker Paddock, Grace - I Was a "Hello Girl" in The World Wars remembered : personal recollections of heroes, hello girls, flying aces, prisoners, survivors, and those on the homefront, prepared by the staff of Yankee Magazine, 1979. pp. 110-115 (As the head over all the operators, in the very first unit, and the only one decorated for her service, her view of the Signal Corps women is a key part of their story.)

Monahan, Evelyn - A few good women : America's military women from World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Knopf, 2010.

Raines, Rebecca Robbins - Getting the message through : a branch history of the U.S. Signal Corps, Center of Military History, United States Army, 1996.

Schneider, Dorothy and Carl J. - Into the breach : American women overseas in World War I, Viking, 1991.

Wyman, Thomas Sage - A telephone switchboard operator with the A.E.F. in France - Army History, Fall 1977/Winter 1998 pp. 1-9.  (Wyman is talking from the viewpoint of his mother, Dorothy Sage Wyman, who, like Oleda, lived long enough to receive her honorable discharge papers.)

The story of these fascinating and determined women is finally being discovered.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello to the "Hello Girls"

#1
Please help me decide something.

This week I've started my preview performances of the stories of the Hello Girls, the World War I bi-lingual telephone operators of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  It took  60 years, but they were finally recognized as the first women's combatants.  I will appear as Oleda Joure Christides from Marine City, but also mention many others including Cora Bartlett of Hillsdale County Michigan, the only one of their number lost, although typhoid was the cause.

These soldiers, for that is how they were addressed, had to pay to have their uniforms made.  The uniforms were modeled after that of the Army nurse and cost $300-500.  The present equivalent is slightly more than $4350-7250 in 2016 dollars.  It's no wonder the people of Emmett, Idaho held a benefit to help Anne Campbell Atkinson get uniformed.

Only after my very hot and heavy woolen uniform was made did I learn they also had summer uniforms.  That comparison with the value of 1918 dollars made me feel better about having both sets made.  I did not bother with the woolen underwear nor those black sateen bloomers the women also ignored!

Now for my problem.  I want to send historical groups, libraries, and schools who have seen my historical work a letter accompanied by a photograph of me in uniform.  I know other groups when booking me will also want a photo.  I'm not sure how to make a collage photo and also will need to single out one in particular to get the message across visually.  Could you help me decide?   Frankly I always hate pictures and these are many things, but definitely not "glamour shots."
#2

#3
#4

#5
#6
#8
#7

Sorry, but this really is saved rotated right-side-up with Headless as #9 or my attempt at German humor: Nein!
Photos were graciously taken in Frankenmuth at the Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum (on a very busy Memorial Day weekend!) and at the Doughboy Statue in Bay City at the General John J. Pershing Park next to the Sage Branch Library of the Bay County Library System.  Others also most helpful in my preparation have included the Pride and Heritage Museum of Marine City and even as far away as Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian National Museum of American Heritage Division of Armed Forces History and, of course, Oleda's own daughter, Michelle Christides, who has worked incredibly hard to get the story known.  I look forward to her book about them and will gladly promote and offer it when it becomes available.

In the meantime I need to get the word out and for that I need a best picture or pictures.  I look forward to reactions here, Facebook, or my email.  THANK YOU!

UPDATE: I just realized I never posted the results here, although I did put it on Facebook.  Taking all the reactions convinced me it was better to create a collage of pictures.  This was the result.
 

Next week (6/18/2016) maybe I can show some more of the research behind all of this.  We'll see.  It's a hectic time, including another preview of the program, so maybe I will take the quicker way and post another story. . . we'll see.                                                                  

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hauff- The History of Dwarf Long Nose (Lang version of The Wonder Child) - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The saying, "and now for something completely different!" almost fits here.  Last week brought Part 5 of The Wonder Child.  It was the conclusion of the version by J.G. Hornstein of Wilhelm Hauff's "Der Zwerg Nase."  I frankly confess I prefer Hornstein's setting the story in old Bagdad.  Somehow it brings the story to life for me just as the tale of "Caliph Stork" clearly needed that setting.  Hauff used the frame of slaves telling the story to the Sheik of Alexandria, but this story must have been told by a German slave.

The story is from Hauff's Märchen-Almanach auf das Jahr 1827 (if you can read German and want the story straight from the Hauff's mouth.)  Because Google Translate is the best I can manage in German, I put the title in and at first it came up as "The Zwergnase", but I could tell Nase = Nose, so I just entered Zwerg and it came up "Dwarf", then I added Nase a second time and the title became "Gnome Nose."  

That's fairly close to the version found in Andrew Lang's Violet Fairy Book for today's "closer to the original" story of "The History of Dwarf Long Nose."  Lang, in his Preface, names his translator as a Miss Blackley and her version starts out fairly close to the original as best I can tell from Google Translate.  Even with the "clunkiness" of Google Translate, the introductory few paragraphs also let us know the names and setting as Hauff originally intended, so I will give those in bold type. 
***

Lord! Those do very wrong who believe that there was only Times of Harun Al-Rashid, the ruler of Baghdad, fairies and where magicians, or even assert that reports of the Driving the genii and their princes, which one of the narrators listens to the markets of the city, were untrue. Even today there are Fairies, and it is not so long ago that I myself witnessed a Incident was where apparently the geniuses in the games were, even as I will report.

In a major city of my dear fatherland, Germany, a shoemaker who lived many years ago with his wife and quite simply. He sat by day on the corner of the street and mending shoes and slippers and made probably new when a what might trust him; but he then had to buy the leather first, because he was poor and had no supplies. His wife sold vegetables and fruits that they planted in a small garden in front of the gates, and many people liked to buy with her because she was dressed neatly and cleanly and expand their vegetables on pleasing kind knew.

The two folks had a nice boy, pleasant face, well designed and quite large for the age of twelve. He would usually with the mother sitting on the vegetable market, and the women or chefs who had bought a lot in the shoemaker wife, he wore probably a part of the fruit home, and he rarely came back from such a transition without a beautiful flower or a piece of money or cake; because the rulers of these chefs looked like it if you brought the beautiful boy home, and presented him always plentiful.

One day the cobbler's wife was sitting as usual in the market, they had the right to some baskets with cabbage and other things vegetables, all kinds of herbs and seeds, even in a smaller baskets early pears, apples and apricots. The little Jacob, so was the boy sitting next to her and cried in a clear voice the goods out: "This way, gentlemen, behold the beautiful carbon as fragrant these herbs; early pear, you women, early apples and apricots, who buy? My mother gives it cheap. " So cried the boy. As an old woman came forth on the market; They looked a little torn and ragged, had a small, spitziges face, all furrowed with age, red eyes and a pointed, aquiline nose, the desired down to the chin; she went on a long stick, but could not say how they went to; because she limped and slipped and staggered; it was as if she had wheels in the legs and can invert all moments and fall with the pointed nose on the pavement.

The woman of the shoemaker looked this woman carefully. There were now but already sixteen years that she sat daily in the market, and she had never noticed this strange figure. But she was frightened involuntarily, as the Old zuhinkte to them and rested on their baskets.

"Are you Hanne, the greengrocer?" asked the old woman with unpleasant, croaking voice by constantly shaking his head back and forth.

***
  • Fortunately Lang's version seems fairly close, although for some strange reason the boy is named Jem.  You may remember seeing earlier, in part 1, my use of this illustration. 
All illustrations today are by H.J.Ford from The Violet Fairy Book unless otherwise labeled.


  • Another difference between Lang and Hornstein is the entire story is told without dividing it into parts.  
  • The main differences, beyond setting, deal with what happens to children in the house of the mysterious "old woman."  They are guinea pigs or squirrels walking around on their hind legs.  The guinea pigs wear nutshells for shoes and men's clothes in the newest fashion, while the squirrels wear full Turkish trousers and little green velvet caps.  After Jem eats some soup, he enters a dream state where "the old woman took off all his clothes and wrapped him in a squirrel skin, and that he went about with the other squirrels and guinea pigs, who were all very pleasant and well-mannered, and waited on the old woman."  After seven years he smells a very strong smell that makes him sneeze repeatedly, waking him from what he believes was a dream.  He goes back to the market thinking he should return to his mother and finds this reaction.
Similarly his father doesn't recognize him.

Now we finally are ready to enter today's version of the story's ending.  If you don't have a copy of The Violet Fairy Book handy and want to read the earlier part of the story, it's in many places on the internet, including Sacred-texts.com, which has the texts of all the  'Colored' Fairy Books compiled by Andrew Lang. Currently, they have the complete text of this series and are in the process of adding page numbering and illustrations to the text.  There's only one more illustration by H.J. Ford, but it's not to be missed if you want to understand this version of the story.  I'll insert it along with a picture from a similar version in another translation of the story.

We start with Jem going to work in the duke's kitchen.

He lost no time in setting to work, and everyone rejoiced at having him in the kitchen, for the duke was not a patient man, and had been known to throw plates and dishes at his cooks and servants if the things served were not quite to his taste. Now all was changed. He never even grumbled at anything, had five meals instead of three, thought everything delicious, and grew fatter daily.
And so Jem lived on for two years, much respected and considered, and only saddened when he thought of his parents. One day passed much like another till the following incident happened.
Dwarf Long Nose—as he was always called—made a practice of doing his marketing as much as possible himself, and whenever time allowed went to the market to buy his poultry and fruit. One morning he was in the goose market, looking for some nice fat geese. No one thought of laughing at his appearance now; he was known as the duke's special body cook, and every goose-woman felt honoured if his nose turned her way.
He noticed one woman sitting apart with a number of geese, but not crying or praising them like the rest. He went up to her, felt and weighed her geese, and, finding them very good, bought three and the cage to put them in, hoisted them on his broad shoulders, and set off on his way back.
As he went, it struck him that two of the geese were gobbling and screaming as geese do, but the third sat quite still, only heaving a deep sigh now and then, like a human being. 'That goose is ill,' said he; 'I must make haste to kill and dress her.'
But the goose answered him quite distinctly:
'Squeeze too tight And I'll bite, If my neck a twist you gave I'd bring you to an early grave.'
Quite frightened, the dwarf set down the cage, and the goose gazed at him with sad wise-looking eyes and sighed again.
'Good gracious!' said Long Nose. 'So you can speak, Mistress Goose. I never should have thought it! Well, don't be anxious. I know better than to hurt so rare a bird. But I could bet you were not always in this plumage—wasn't I a squirrel myself for a time?'
'You are right,' said the goose, 'in supposing I was not born in this horrid shape. Ah! no one ever thought that Mimi, the daughter of the great Weatherbold, would be killed for the ducal table.'
'Be quite easy, Mistress Mimi,' comforted Jem. 'As sure as I'm an honest man and assistant head cook to his highness, no one shall harm you. I will make a hutch for you in my own rooms, and you shall be well fed, and I'll come and talk to you as much as I can. I'll tell all the other cooks that I am fattening up a goose on very special food for the grand duke, and at the first good opportunity I will set you free.'
The goose thanked him with tears in her eyes, and the dwarf kept his word. He killed the other two geese for dinner, but built a little shed for Mimi in one of his rooms, under the pretence of fattening her under his own eye. He spent all his spare time talking to her and comforting her, and fed her on all the daintiest dishes. They confided their histories to each other, and Jem learnt that the goose was the daughter of the wizard Weatherbold, who lived on the island of Gothland. He fell out with an old fairy, who got the better of him by cunning and treachery, and to revenge herself turned his daughter into a goose and carried her off to this distant place. When Long Nose told her his story she said:
'I know a little of these matters, and what you say shows me that you are under a herb enchantment—that is to say, that if you can find the herb whose smell woke you up the spell would be broken.'
This was but small comfort for Jem, for how and where was he to find the herb?
About this time the grand duke had a visit from a neighbouring prince, a friend of his. He sent for Long Nose and said to him:
'Now is the time to show what you can really do. This prince who is staying with me has better dinners than any one except myself, and is a great judge of cooking. As long as he is here you must take care that my table shall be served in a manner to surprise him constantly. At the same time, on pain of my displeasure, take care that no dish shall appear twice. Get everything you wish and spare nothing. If you want to melt down gold and precious stones, do so. I would rather be a poor man than have to blush before him.'
The dwarf bowed and answered:
'Your highness shall be obeyed. I will do all in my power to please you and the prince.'
From this time the little cook was hardly seen except in the kitchen, where, surrounded by his helpers, he gave orders, baked, stewed, flavoured and dished up all manner of dishes.
The prince had been a fortnight with the grand duke, and enjoyed himself mightily. They ate five times a day, and the duke had every reason to be content with the dwarf's talents, for he saw how pleased his guest looked. On the fifteenth day the duke sent for the dwarf and presented him to the prince.
'You are a wonderful cook,' said the prince, 'and you certainly know what is good. All the time I have been here you have never repeated a dish, and all were excellent. But tell me why you have never served the queen of all dishes, a Suzeraine Pasty?'
The dwarf felt frightened, for he had never heard of this Queen of Pasties before. But he did not lose his presence of mind, and replied:
'I have waited, hoping that your highness' visit here would last some time, for I proposed to celebrate the last day of your stay with this truly royal dish.'
'Indeed,' laughed the grand duke; 'then I suppose you would have waited for the day of my death to treat me to it, for you have never sent it up to me yet. However, you will have to invent some other farewell dish, for the pasty must be on my table to-morrow.'
'As your highness pleases,' said the dwarf, and took leave.
But it did not please HIM at all. The moment of disgrace seemed at hand, for he had no idea how to make this pasty. He went to his rooms very sad. As he sat there lost in thought the goose Mimi, who was left free to walk about, came up to him and asked what was the matter? When she heard she said:
'Cheer up, my friend. I know the dish quite well: we often had it at home, and I can guess pretty well how it was made.' Then she told him what to put in, adding: 'I think that will be all right, and if some trifle is left out perhaps they won't find it out.'
Sure enough, next day a magnificent pasty all wreathed round with flowers was placed on the table. Jem himself put on his best clothes and went into the dining hall. As he entered the head carver was in the act of cutting up the pie and helping the duke and his guests. The grand duke took a large mouthful and threw up his eyes as he swallowed it.
'Oh! oh! this may well be called the Queen of Pasties, and at the same time my dwarf must be called the king of cooks. Don't you think so, dear friend?'
The prince took several small pieces, tasted and examined carefully, and then said with a mysterious and sarcastic smile:
'The dish is very nicely made, but the Suzeraine is not quite complete—as I expected.'
The grand duke flew into a rage.
'Dog of a cook,' he shouted; 'how dare you serve me so? I've a good mind to chop off your great head as a punishment.'
'For mercy's sake, don't, your highness! I made the pasty according to the best rules; nothing has been left out. Ask the prince what else I should have put in.'
The prince laughed. 'I was sure you could not make this dish as well as my cook, friend Long Nose. Know, then, that a herb is wanting called Relish, which is not known in this country, but which gives the pasty its peculiar flavour, and without which your master will never taste it to perfection.'
The grand duke was more furious than ever.
'But I WILL taste it to perfection,' he roared. 'Either the pasty must be made properly to-morrow or this rascal's head shall come off. Go, scoundrel, I give you twenty-four hours respite.'
The poor dwarf hurried back to his room, and poured out his grief to the goose.
'Oh, is that all,' said she, 'then I can help you, for my father taught me to know all plants and herbs. Luckily this is a new moon just now, for the herb only springs up at such times. But tell me, are there chestnut trees near the palace?'
'Oh, yes!' cried Long Nose, much relieved; 'near the lake—only a couple of hundred yards from the palace—is a large clump of them. But why do you ask?'
'Because the herb only grows near the roots of chestnut trees,' replied Mimi; 'so let us lose no time in finding it. Take me under your arm and put me down out of doors, and I'll hunt for it.'
He did as she bade, and as soon as they were in the garden put her on the ground, when she waddled off as fast as she could towards the lake, Jem hurrying after her with an anxious heart, for he knew that his life depended on her success. The goose hunted everywhere, but in vain. She searched under each chestnut tree, turning every blade of grass with her bill—nothing to be seen, and evening was drawing on!
Suddenly the dwarf noticed a big old tree standing alone on the other side of the lake. 'Look,' cried he, 'let us try our luck there.'
Anonymous illustrator for Arabian Days' Entertainments translated by Herbert Pelham Curtis
The goose fluttered and skipped in front, and he ran after as fast as his little legs could carry him. The tree cast a wide shadow, and it was almost dark beneath it, but suddenly the goose stood still, flapped her wings with joy, and plucked something, which she held out to her astonished friend, saying: 'There it is, and there is more growing here, so you will have no lack of it.'

The dwarf stood gazing at the plant. It gave out a strong sweet scent, which reminded him of the day of his enchantment. The stems and leaves were a bluish green, and it bore a dark, bright red flower with a yellow edge.
'What a wonder!' cried Long Nose. 'I do believe this is the very herb which changed me from a squirrel into my present miserable form. Shall I try an experiment?'
'Not yet,' said the goose. 'Take a good handful of the herb with you, and let us go to your rooms. We will collect all your money and clothes together, and then we will test the powers of the herb.'
So they went back to Jem's rooms, and here he gathered together some fifty ducats he had saved, his clothes and shoes, and tied them all up in a bundle. Then he plunged his face into the bunch of herbs, and drew in their perfume.
As he did so, all his limbs began to crack and stretch; he felt his head rising above his shoulders; he glanced down at his nose, and saw it grow smaller and smaller; his chest and back grew flat, and his legs grew long.
The goose looked on in amazement. 'Oh, how big and how beautiful you are!' she cried. 'Thank heaven, you are quite changed.'
Jem folded his hands in thanks, as his heart swelled with gratitude. But his joy did not make him forget all he owed to his friend Mimi.
'I owe you my life and my release,' he said, 'for without you I should never have regained my natural shape, and, indeed, would soon have been beheaded. I will now take you back to your father, who will certainly know how to disenchant you.'
The goose accepted his offer with joy, and they managed to slip out of the palace unnoticed by anyone.
They got through the journey without accident, and the wizard soon released his daughter, and loaded Jem with thanks and valuable presents. He lost no time in hastening back to his native town, and his parents were very ready to recognise the handsome, well-made young man as their long-lost son. With the money given him by the wizard he opened a shop, which prospered well, and he lived long and happily.
I must not forget to mention that much disturbance was caused in the palace by Jem's sudden disappearance, for when the grand duke sent orders next day to behead the dwarf, if he had not found the necessary herbs, the dwarf was not to be found. The prince hinted that the duke had allowed his cook to escape, and had therefore broken his word. The matter ended in a great war between the two princes, which was known in history as the 'Herb War.' After many battles and much loss of life, a peace was at last concluded, and this peace became known as the 'Pasty Peace,' because at the banquet given in its honour the prince's cook dished up the Queen of Pasties—the Suzeraine—and the grand duke declared it to be quite excellent.
*****

Both versions end with a "happily ever after."  Some question the way fairy tales end so unrealistically.  I find the answer in children's psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim's, The Uses of Enchantment; The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.  The book is still available and various PDFs are available online.  In its briefest form, go to the 14 page Introduction to the book.  

Bettelheim saw fairy tales as useful in their very darkness.  Precisely because stories offer abandonment, death, witches, and injuries, they let children grapple with their fears in remote, symbolic terms like a daydream, permitting the child's imagination to expose them to dimensions otherwise they might not discover.  Bettelheim himself was a Holocaust survivor, so I believe this points beyond children to its use for adults, too.  He believed not permitting such exposure to the unconscious would later cripple the personality and overwhelm the person.  He knew parents wanted children to believe all people are good and to see only the sunny side of life, but he saw the very struggle and eventual mastery of obstacles as neither escapism nor giving in.  He further valued the simplification of fairy tales as showing both the attractiveness of evil and offering ease of identifying with the hero. The very misunderstanding about "happily ever after" is discussed as preferable to more modern stories.  Fairy tales show the importance of love and human bonding, while not clinging to the parent, in eventual healthy human development.

Should we mention all of this when telling the tales?  Dunberidiculous!  He points out the value to those needing them happens in this very way of working with a sense of enchantment and letting the stories work with our unconscious.

My own apologies for drawing the curtain back to reveal the mechanics of such "enchantment", but too often it still has detractors missing the whole point behind both such stories and their conclusion.

So let's conclude our own entrance into Hauff's world for today.  Whether set in the Middle East, Germany or wherever!, it has a value I hope you, too, have found.
*************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  


At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so one can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression he likes by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm

He also loaded to his server the doctorate thesis of Prof. Dov Noy (Neunan) "Motif-index of Talmudic-Midrahic literature" Indiana University, 1954, as a PDF file.
in the hope that some of you would make use of it.

You can see why that is a site I recommend to you.

Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hauff - The Wonder Child - part 5 (Hornstein) - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

At last it's time to bring this story to a close!  I promised I would give 2 versions for you to consider.  Today will be from the version by J. G. Hornstein.  This is the version I've been using all along, BUT I will follow next week with the more typical ending.  The easiest one to use is from Andrew Lang's Violet Fairy Book.  That book dates back to 1901 and is readily available all over the internet and in print, with Dover Publications long offering an inexpensive paper edition.

Dover is worth a bit of further comment here as they, too, kept many Public Domain works alive.  Good old Wikipedia even has an article to give you insight into Dover's history.  Like most publishers, recent times has led to changing ownership.  Founder Hayward Cirker, was called The Last Paperback Revolutionary in the New York Times article by Tom Reiss.  You can feel the love Reiss, too, had for Dover and his dismay over changes since Cirker's death.  Dover is now run by the Fortune 500 company, RR Donnelley.

I suggest, if you, too, have any interest in Dover, look at least into the Wikipedia and New York Times articles hotlinked in the previous paragraph.  It's not necessary, however, for your enjoyment of today's version or the alternate version I'll post next week after the Hornstein edition.  What is necessary is my explanation of the different way other versions translated Hauff and why Hornstein completely ignored a literal translation.  Next week we will have the more literal conclusion to the story Lang calls "The History of Dwarf Long Nose."  Because Lang has the traditional translation of Hauff, it's worth knowing and considering which way you prefer the story.  As you may guess, I like a lot of what Hornstein did with the story, but it's not what Hauff originally wrote.  Next week's translation of the ending aligns with other translations.  The joys of not reading a story in its original language!  We wind up with two ways of telling the story.

I've been unable to learn anything about the mysterious J.G. Hornstein except what he wrote in Caravan Tales' preface "To Donald."  Hornstein freely admits on the book's title page the stories are "Freely adapted and retold", but the preface gives clues to why these versions are so different.  Hornstein told the stories to Donald on long walks.  He said his business was "to read them over and over again with a whole generation of schoolboys", so I presume Hornstein was a teacher of German.  He regretted "such good stories should be practically buried away in forbidding class-books and remain unknown".  Donald's delight in the stories led him to attempt translation, but "My stories on paper were not the stories you liked to hear on our rambles; there was something wrong with them -- they were insipid and unreal."  Hornstein then "put away that little blue book with its crowded pages of quaint and unintelligible characters which puzzled you so much, and wrote the words down as if they came out of my own head."  He further admits "It was a bold thing to do; I sometimes felt it was almost a wicked thing, and there may be many who will blame me harshly for doing it, but I must not mind the worst that can be said of me, for it is the approval my undertaking met with from you which makes me hope that, although the grave and the learned may be against me, I shall have all you young and happy children to stand up and fight for me."  He also adds his reward is "to spread the fame of Wilhelm Hauff, to whose genius this book owes its existence."  That certainly fits with the goals involved in Keeping the Public in Public Domain.

If you want to see the book, including its preface, which goes on to talk about the brief life of Hauff who "died just eleven days before reaching his twenty-fifth birthday", the digitized copy from Cornell University can be found online at Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Trust me, for a bibliomaniac like myself, the book, however battered, has gilding on it cover and charm missed digitally.

Enough of the story behind the story.  Let's jump into where we were about to bring this to a conclusion.  So many names have appeared we may yet find them "quaint and unintelligible characters which puzzled you so much."  Added to that we finally are given the name of Aghab to the "Wonder Child" even though it never appears until now.  I love books that start with a list when there are many characters.  This is my list for those mentioned in the concluding section.

  • Aghab - "The Wonder Child", but by the end a man -- Various names are given by the different translators showing no real relation to any original.  In my own telling I would not use Aghab for his name and, if I understand correctly, Hauff used a familiar German name of Jakob.  Shakespeare said "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", but I would prefer to use a more common Arabic male name in my own telling.
  • Habeeba - a friend, and more, from the House of Enchantment who was also "accursed"
  • Abdullah, the gardener, and his unnamed wife - Aghab's parents
  • Kadi Mahmood - Aghab's employer and ruler of Bagdad
  • the Caliph - the supreme religious and political leader of an Islamic state known as the Caliphate, so he is the honored guest who is more important than the Kadi
  • Hassan - the chief cook for the Kadi and Aghab's immediate supervisor
  • Aziz - the barber who was Aghab's first employer after the House of Enchantment and it was in his shop the Kadi found Aghab
  • The woman who set all this enchantment in motion is not mentioned here and never really named although one chapter calls her Dame Nose.


frontispiece to Caravan Tales illustrated by Norman Ault
And so we begin to tie together the threads forming this "Oriental Rug" brought in Hauff's Caravan Tales.


 
It's been a long journey in our mental caravan.  Some would call this a simple fairy tale, ending in the unrealistic "and they all lived happily ever after."

There is a reason such endings exist.  They bring hope and a needed resolution. 

There also are some very real ways this story can relate to modern life.  Think about how you might find this story worthwhile.  The author or storyteller is only responsible for what is said.  The reader or listener is responsible for what is heard.

Next week will bring the more traditional version of the story to conclude this series.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hauff - The Wonder Child - part 4 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Unknown illustrator - Arabian Days' Entertainment by Herbert Pelham Curtis
 Today is National Readathon Day, the third week of our story, "The Wonder Child", and the fourth part called "Cook to the Kadi." 

Happy Reading!

Last week we pointed out as the Hornstein version calls him a Kadi,(Arabic: قاضي‎; also cadi, kadi or qāḍī).  The Kadi is a judge who reviews civil, judicial and religious matters according to Islamic law. The original story by Hauff and many versions of this story, such as Tales of the Caravan, Inn, and Palace translated by Edward L. Stowell, put it in a section where slaves tell stories to the Sheik of Alexandria .  That's just a "frame" letting the story be told.  Some of the illustrations from Stowell's version fit today even it we use Hornstein's version.  Today's story moves the Wonder Child to the palace of the Kadi and Hornstein eliminates the frame. 




Unknown illustrator  - Tales of the Caravan, Inn, and Palace by Edward L. Stowell
"She dared not eat; she dared not sleep" by Norman Ault
What will happen to these two?
Come back next week for the conclusion and see.