Friday, August 17, 2012

46. Beauty and the Beast

There is something wonderfully pleasing about picking up a childhood favourite as an adult.  To revisit old friends and relive adventures with a fresh eye brings a sense of comfort.  While flipping through my Kobo VOX I noticed that I had a copy of Beauty and the Beast in there.  Credited to Anonymous, this was not the sing-song Disney version  - which I never really took to - but one that felt quite grown up.  With formal wording and the suggestion of emotion, I fell back into a familiar space where I could curl up in my oversized chair and, snuggled in a hand sewn quilt, allow my imagination and empathy take me into that old-world setting.  It is a place where promises are still intrinsic with honour and a good heart can triumph.

 This  version seemed to be an expansion of the one I lovingly read by Marianne Meyer. The illustrations drew me in then and today it remains my favourite visual for this tale. With soft lines and rich colours, Mercer Meyers illustrations breath life into the characters and speak more of Beauty's spirit than the words could do. I am drawn to her capacity for appreciation, shown during her days at the Beasts home for the riches in the house, the artistry of the gardens, the birds she befriends and the for the kindness and restraint she recognizes in the beast.   Meyers illustrations reflect the emotions I have when reading this story.   Usually classified as a fairytale, I have always thought of this as a love story.  A pure and honest love story. I have a mini-swoon each time I read, or even remember it.

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