Written Words Wednesday - The return
Part of my reinvention of my blog is the resurrection of Written Words Wednesday. I do not know if this will have a specific form, or if it will end up being more fluid, but I am committing to bring it back.
Some things about me: I am an admitted bibliophile; I love the smell, sight, and feel of books. I am currently working on my B.A. in English/ Creative Writing with a specialization in Non-fiction. Some of my favorite authors are: William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, Charles deLint, and so many more. I have never read a Jane Austen book, anything by a Bronte or any book of that style clear through, and I think that Wurthering Heights is impossible to read because all of the characters are unlikable. Now that you know a little bit about me let's explore some books.
Throughout written and oral history you will find tales of the Tricksters; those Gods who inspire chaos wherever they go. Tricksters are not all good, or all bad, but instead tend to tread a line between the two. Some of the most famous Tricksters are Loki (Norse), Coyote (Native American), Anansi (Ashanti), Gwydion (Welsh), and Hermes (Greek). Tricksters often have roles in books and stories, because they add conflict and drama and allow for anything to happen. Lets explore some books with a prominent Trickster appearance,
Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore - Coyote Blue is the story of Samuel Hunter, an American Indian who has fled his past on the rez, only to have his life turned upside down by the God, Coyote. Moore's Coyote is part skeezy salesman, part crazy uncle and part hapless dreamer. If you have never read Christopher Moore before jump into his world, and just laugh your ass off. **Know that many of his books happen in the same world, so many of the characters are carried across books. So feel free to fall in love with characters and then follow them to other books (ahem, Minty Fresh)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman - Okay, so maybe it is cheating to use American Gods, but I love it, and it does feature a definite trickster. Prison sage Low Key Lyesmith is the often quoted former prison roommate of the hero, Shadow. He shows up at the strangest times, and ends up being more than you might expect originally. If you have never read American Gods, do it. And be on the look out because a tv series is coming to Starz with a stellar cast (including Ian McShane).
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - Puck is the epitome of the trickster. Imagine how much less interesting this play would be if Puck hadn't been meddling. Puck is mischievous, and marvelous, and his final monologue is one of my favorite pieces from Shakespeare.
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling - This book follows a writer named Maggie Black as she seeks to unwind the mysterious death of her mentor. After inheriting his home, she moves to Arizona and becomes a part of a living myth. She meets a spirit/god named Crow, who is certainly a trickster spirit. The casual, quiet fairy tale feel of this story has made it one of my favorite books to read again and again.
What are some of your favorite tricksters from fiction?