This is a meme hosted by me every Friday.
My post today is about: Neil Gaiman’s re-telling of Snow White
In Neil Gaiman’s collection of short stories titled Smoke and Mirrors, one can read his re-telling of Snow White: “Snow, Glass, Apples”. I can assure you that once you’ve read his re-telling, you will never see Snow White the same way again.
We all know the tale about the girl with snow-white skin, blood-red lips and black hair and how her stepmother demanded that she be killed because the stepdaughter had been proclaimed as the prettiest woman in the realm by the evil stepmother’s magical mirror. Snow White found solace with dwarves, then had a misfortune with a poisoned apple, but recovered after being kissed by a prince. And then, they lived happily ever after.
Not in “Snow, Glass, Apples”. In this story narrated from the stepmother’s point of view, the stepmother is the victim and Snow White the villain. The family into which the stepmother married is twisted. The elements from the original are kept, but darkly twisted. I cannot summarise the plot for you to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you what you will encounter in this dark tale: incest, necrophilia, paedophilia and even vampirism. These are not spoilers; you will have to read the story to know to which characters they belong.
I would like to comment on the element of necrophilia briefly. I believe Gaiman included it because there has been much discussion about whether necrophilia is present in the Brother Grimms’ story. In their fairy-tale, the prince falls in love with Snow White while she’s lying dead in a glass coffin. He begs the dwarves to let him take the coffin to his home, to keep the beauty he loves by his side. On the way to his castle, one of the servants carrying the coffin trips and the jerking movement dislodged the poisoned apple from Snow White’s throat and she returns to life. She falls in love with him too and they live happily ever after. But one can ask this question, “What would have happened had she remained dead?” Is it healthy to keep a dead person in your house because you love them? (It puts to mind Juana La Loca.) Or, should the story simply remain a piece of fiction for us to enjoy and not read too much into it?
What do you think?
In any event, Gaiman’s re-telling is available online and you can read it HERE. It surely is a very dark and twisted version of Snow White.