have you ever read the coffins of little hope?
i once read a story inspired by it (i can't remember the retold story) about a tale of two wrongly accused sisters locked up in an all-girl criminal-orphan asylum, where fantastical threat lurks around every sharp corner.
i found myself thinking about the bride in the original andersen tale - the girl the prince marries instead of the little mermaid. she's innocent, yet I feel compelled to think of her as a villain, perhaps due to her beauty and perfection, and the fact that she's marrying the prince and the mermaid is not. i was moved by his portrayal of the mermaid's undersea luxury among lost treasures and its contrast to her mute servility on land. the bride in my head gets the prince only after his love for the mermaid has ruined him, leading to broken hearts for everyone.
after that, I reread it (the original little mermaid by hans christian andersen) - and, i'm sorry, but good god - the prince is either monumentally cruel or blitheringly dumb. i wish i could write. i'd invent a smart, caring male character... though he makes the disastrous mistake of confusing love with the pursuit of a beautiful idea.
i read reviews where they disliked what they perceive as andersen's do-gooder ending and his excruciating portrayal of a mute woman sacrificing herself for a frivolous rich boy, but i was quite taken at how much his story embraces the form of a classic romantic triangle. one that avoids a conventionally happy (fairy tale) conclusion. a wretched, overly patient, tongue-tied woman is dying for love and cannot convey her heartbreak, while watching a man (with whom she's enjoyed a binding friendship) replace her with a fresher, younger ideal.
on second thought, sod it - give me my happily ever after.