Saturday, January 26, 2008

Brother Lustig

(Thinking about this Grimm tale)

Today’s, “Brother Lustig,” seems more like the kind of bawdy, theatrical plot seen in Medieval Europe than a Grimm fairy tale. It contains many comic “scenes” and possibilities of a Commedia dell'arte kind of slapstick.

The basic theme is familiar—a good-hearted rascal, triumphs and gets his (hero is often male) dream. Ferris Bueller is a version of this hero and Pseudolus in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is another.

We love these stories because sneakiness and even dishonesty are rewarded. The heroes are good but not in a pious, uptight way. And the stories seem to express a deep psychological truth found in Matthew 13:12 “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” (King James Bible)

What does this mean?

For years, I wondered about this quote. Then I understood how it describes an inner process: inner psychological health/skills (wealth) build inside us. That is how I interpret the “good luck” and crazy justice found in this story. Brother Lustig seems to float through many difficulties while others flounder.

It is a lengthy story—enjoy it and other older posts. I’ll be gone most of this week!

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