21 November 2012

There she goes

In all the versions of Little Red Riding Hood there is never any mention of what she does or where she goes in the time between her encounter with the wolf on the path and arriving at Grandma's. That is her me time. The first jump cut. All we know is, after that, whatever lonely wandering she gets up to, she arrives – different in different versions – but often cocky, prickly, ready to talk back, to speak truth (not premeditated, perspicacious – what big eyes – yuk), to name Grandma's grotesque appearance. And this thing of letting herself be eaten, before cutting her way out of wolf's belly: it reminds me of times I've been beaten in Chess, when I've rushed ahead thinking checkmate might be mine, but then I'm checkmated; I didn't see the scissors in her hands as I pressed forward and swallowed her up.

What's nice about Angela Carter's 'The Company of Wolves' is the consideration she gives the wolf:

There is a vast melancholy in the canticles of the wolves, melancholy infinite as the forest, endless as these long nights of winter and yet that ghastly sadness, that mourning for their own, irremediable appetites, can never move the heart for not one phrase in it hints at the possibility of redemption; grace could not come to the wolf from its own despair, only through some external mediator, so that, sometimes, the beast will look as if he half welcomes the knife that despatches him.

And she's ready to give that to him.

Now I'm thinking about other missing moments like Little Red Cap off on her ownsome – what crucial things the reader cannot be privy to…

It isn't quite the same, this is more a question of the different narrative requirements and allowances in film, but Submarine the film doesn't feature Oliver's comeuppance, and Trainspottingthe film doesn't have Begby meeting his father

No comments: