SEA MAGIC: And Other Stories of Enchantment by Rosemary Harris

SEA MAGIC: And Other Stories of Enchantment

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Ten stories taken from the folklore of France, Egypt, India, North America and elsewhere but orchestrated and dramatized until they assume the artificial splendor of polished fiction. As befits her sophisticated style, Harris' selections tend to represent the riper stages of the cultures she draws on. Thus she is most successful with such weird, romantic tales as ""Graveyard Rose"" (about a girl who is taken by Death as his bride but restored to life by a prince who picks the rose that has grown from her heart), less in tune with the British ""Sea Magic,"" which opens here with four pages carefully setting the scene and the hero's state of mind, or with the Icelandic ""Small Red Ox,"" about a youth persecuted by three sinister stepsisters he calls One-eye, Two-eye, and Three-eye and aided by a self-sacrificing bull -- frankly fabulous motifs more at home with the usual vigorous take-it-or-leave-it approach than with Harris' presentation, which begins in media agony with a closeup of Einar writhing on his back in pain and hatred. Nevertheless in all ten stories her impressive storytelling skill is, on her terms, effective.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Page count: 178pp
Publisher: Macmillan