I am dipping my toe into the waters of book related memes! This is my first one so please be gentle with me (although I am already failing a wee bit as I can’t really think of anything to include on the selected topic… ho hum)
I am following a group on Goodreads called Top 5 Wednesday and have kept my beady eye on the topic posts, some of which I’ve thought, ‘yeah I can totally do that,’ and other’s I’ve gone, ‘what does that even mean,’ but what is life without a challenge right? Right?!
This week’s topic is in honour of April Fool’s Day and is all about (as it says above)…
‘Yay!’ I thought. ‘I’m going to do a meme!’
Which was quickly followed by, ‘Crap, I have no idea who to include.’
In honour of this week’s theme, later this week I will post my review for ‘Heartless’ by Marissa Meyer which is a story about a young woman who falls in love with a court jester. Also, to honour the theme I am reading ‘Trick’ by Natalia Jaster about… um… a young woman who falls in love with a court jester. Ok, so I have a type.
As I didn’t love the jester from ‘Heartless’ and wouldn’t necessarily even call him the joking type I didn’t include him here. When I got thinking about who I would include I realised that all of the jokester/ trickster characters were from books by Neil Gaiman and 3 were from the same novel! Not that I think including them would be a bad thing but this isn’t just a Neil Gaiman appreciation blog (however hard it is clearly trying to be). Though it seems that Mr. Gaiman has a type too…
Obviously this week’s post could also feature those who tickle your funny bone but instead – and it’s a bit of a cop out – I’m going for my Top 5 Favourite Jokesters (pranksters, tricksters, whoever) from folklore, fairy tale and myth.
I’m fascinated by how different cultures have archetype versions of the same sort of characters etc. even when there would be no way (or a limited way) of sharing their beliefs.
Something about the idea of a mischief maker must appeal to our nature as this type of character appears in a lot of places. Maybe it’s something about being able to act as you want to act without worry of what others think. Of course, this mischief ranges from, ‘oops I left your butter out overnight,’ to ‘what do you mean you don’t like it when I try and sacrifice your first born, your wife and you to my hungry wolf-snake thing – it’s only a joke.’
Here we go.
(Source/ Artist: http://shotsdearte.tumblr.com/)
Thanks to Marvel and Tom Hiddleston is there anyone who doesn’t know who Loki is by now?
Loki is the Norse Mythology ‘Trickster’ god who spends a great deal of time and energy invested in change. If that change ultimately means destroying the order of the gods, well so be it. Known for being exciting, impetuous and completely unstable (he gets significantly meaner) his role is to cause general chaos until he can bring about Ragnarok. That’s the end of the world to me and you. But Ragnarok is needed and important. These Norse gods are complex.
You could say he is a jokester. If the joke is on Shadow.
(Source/ Artist: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Ananse-The-african-spider-man-331730266)
Anansi. Known by many names, in many countries (although he originated in what is now Ghana) and is shown in many forms; spider, spider with a hint of human, human with a hint of spider (or a liberal dose of spider). He is not so fun if you suffer arachnophobia.
He weaves stories like he weaves webs and it’s those story telling abilities (involving a great deal of cunning and trickery) that have managed to get him out of situations, both unpleasant and downright horrid.
Anansi is a wonderful character in American Gods – yes, Neil Gaiman is creepy crawling* his way onto the page – and deserves his spin off book (along with his sons) in ‘Anansi Boys.’
*Not even remotely sorry.
(Source: Song of the South, 1946; Disney)
Honestly, how can something so cute be so troublesome? He couldn’t be, right?
Who doesn’t know where this sentence is from?
‘Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!?’
In double checking some facts on Br’er Rabbit I came across something that said he is an incarnation of Anansi and that the stories written down about him were tales originally told by enslaved Africans of how to use trickery and cunning to outwit the slave owners. Apparently there are also versions of the ‘Tar Baby’ story that originate with the Cherokee nation.
Stories are important. I love them. So far I don’t believe Neil Gaiman has written anything about Br’er Rabbit but there’s still time.
(Source/ Artist: https://liaselina.deviantart.com/art/Puss-In-Boots5-188887507)
I friggin’ love cats. I friggin’ LOVE my cat. If I can somehow squeeze something cat related into a post then I will. I spend a lot of my time telling my cat how cute and fluffy and overall adorable she looks while ignoring the natural penchant for naughtiness that she, like all cats, has.
This entry is a fairy tale and is of the indomitable Puss in Boots who manages to boost his owner’s lot in life through quick wit and just general catting.
(Source/ Artist: https://istarwyn.deviantart.com/art/ERIS-21802466)
Ok, so she’s not really a jokester or trickster type but if we’re thinking mischief (and I am) then this lady can throw her hat into the ring.
Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord and actually has an infamous apple called…. er, ‘The Apple of Discord.’ Call a spade a spade, yeah?
Greek mythology is one my favourite things because those gods and goddesses really enjoy spending their time screwing around with humans or just screwing humans, oh hey there Zeus. According to myth the Trojan War is all naughty Eris’ fault. I’ve not been invited to weddings before and I haven’t taken it personally but then I’m not a Greek mythological deity with all encompassing power and ego problems.
Eris wasn’t on the guest list to a Very Important Party and was so irritated that she rocked up anyway, chucked her golden apple inscribed ‘To The Fairest’ into the crowd and watched as the Olympians did a Grecian version of the bouquet toss. Three goddesses got especially pissy and bribed some poor mortal guy to choose one as the ‘fairest of them all’ I guess.
Said mortal guy was swayed by Aphrodite’s promise of the love of the most beautiful woman so he selected her and eventually won his ‘prize’ who turned out to be a very married Helen of Troy who eloped with him. The Trojan War then commenced. It got nasty. There was a horse.
Eris just sat back and watched the whole thing.
Moral of the story – check and re-check your wedding invites.
Out of the above I think Eris is clearly my top favourite. I know I didn’t entirely live up to the theme in question as none of them are particularly funny or jokesters but I happen to love the idea of a trickster personality and so didn’t want to pass the opportunity up.
Who are your top five? Anyone that springs to mind that I didn’t mention?