Luna's third Call for Papers, A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction will be released on Wednesday the 14th of August, at Dublin Worldcon. Explore the 21 brilliant papers you will find in the book.
Today, we would like to introduce you to Teika Bellamy (UK). Ph.D. in Chemical Research from University of London. Managing Editor of the independent press, Mother’s Milk Books. Writer of science fiction, fantasy, and poetry (under the pen-name of Teika Marija Smits).
Presenting the paper: "Bluebeard – The Eternal Predator"
"I cannot recall when or where, as a child, I first came across the fairy tale ‘Blue Beard’ by Charles Perrault, but what I can still remember is the film-like imagery that I conjured in my mind on reading the story. I am in a castle, climbing a wide stone staircase in search of the forbidden chamber. At the top of the staircase there is a door to my right. I look down at the ring of keys in my hand. Should I or shouldn’t I go in? Blue Beard has expressly forbidden entrance to the room, but I have to know what’s behind the door. Curiosity pulls me to it and yet I am gripped by fear because for all his flattering words I know, deep down in my heart, that Blue Beard is a predator.
Years later, when I began to edit The Forgotten and the Fantastical series of anthologies, my interest in fairy tales and their re-imaginings grew, and I found myself once again captivated, yet horrified, by the power of this predatory figure. My pile of books featuring Bluebeard – fiction and non-fiction – grew and grew until I had to admit that my interest was more than just passing. During the composition of my essay on Bluebeard I found my night-times haunted by him – further evidence, surely, of his archetypal nature; the applicability of this timeless tale. Inspired by the research for my essay, as well as the haunting of my imagination, in snatched moments I rewrote the tale to my own liking several times.
My essay was probably one of the most challenging pieces of writing I’ve done since I wrote my Ph.D. thesis, but it was certainly worth all the hard work. With references to the works of writers such as Angela Carter, the brothers Grimm and Tolkien, as well as the fiction and non-fiction of contemporary writers – Margaret Atwood, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, E. L. James, Adam Roberts, Maria Tatar and Angela Topping – I hope my essay will be of interest to those who relish “dark” fairy tales and want to know more about the eternal predator, Bluebeard.
Dr Teika Bellamy is the award-winning managing editor of Nottingham-based independent press, Mother’s Milk Books, which publishes books that celebrate femininity and empathy, with a view to normalising breastfeeding. As the editor of the popular series of dark fairy tales, The Forgotten and the Fantastical, she is constantly delighted by the fact that ‘Teika’ means fairy tale in Latvian. Her poetry and short fiction, published under the pen-name, Teika Marija Smits, has appeared in various places including Mslexia, Brittle Star, Strix, LossLit, Shoreline of Infinity and Reckoning. She can be found online at: https://marijasmits.wordpress.com and: https://twitter.com/MarijaSmits
Follow the progress of A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction on the "Books in Progress" page!