Cinderella is one of the oldest myths in the world; versions of the rags-to-riches tale date as far back as to the Greeks. At its core, it is a story of transformation and further — beyond the gloss and the societal implications about beauty — it is a story about self-discovery through the triumph over oppression.
We need to re-write quite a few old and not-so-old tales. That’s been one of my favorite candidates for a long time to a re-write. Sounds as if Solnit fixed that, at least here. Good for her.
One of my other top favorites is a re-write of Carmen. I like the Carmen character, independent, fiesty, living large and so forth. Then at the end she lets herself be killed as an expression of disdain to her killer. Really! Some disdain! Well, I guess you can call it an opera and you know how operas go. Me, I want her to turn it around at the end and maybe either do in her would-be killer instead or at least sets him up for disgrace so he has to slink away.
Then again, most anything on the new digital channels which are using old TV series from decades ago. We didn’t have a TV in the house until my mom re-married in the mid-1950’s. I still remember a lot of those old shows. As a young boy I didn’t catch on at the time, they were the only thing I saw or knew, but looking at them now, they hit me in the face with white, male and authoritarian atmosphere, as normal. You can also see in them the seeds of many of the shows today with full-on authoritarian (such as SWAT teams for everything) world with extreme solutions (killing) for most items. Male still dominates, just not as much.
Some of the most “innocent” of the old shows are the worst, sort of like stealth indoctrination. Such as “Leave it to Beaver.” Others still hold up well, except usually from a lack of diversity (read diversity as fullness).
I could go on but I’m getting on my old, old soapbox. Glad Solnit did her version of Cinderella. It’s needed.