Lovers of the Arts and Beauty
the fairies that make the flowers blossom, the sun shine, the mountains
rise and fall. In essence, it is fairies that make the world beautiful,
but this is beauty as they define it. While people believed that it was
fairies who allowed life to exist, people didn’t believe that fairies
were creaters simply for the sake of creation. Fairies are artists, and
they love what they consider beautiful which is shown by their
obsession with song, poetry, and dance.
“Dancing and song are
their delight, and by their songs they draw mortals into the water with
them... The fossegrim entices men by his music and instructs them in
the fiddle and other stringed instruments.” (Jacob Grimm)
is not to say that they are whimsical artists. Indeed, looking at the
nature of artists throughout history, we see that they are rarely
whimsical. Fairies are strict with their art as shown by the example of
the fossegrim (a male waterfall fairy). In order to learn to play music
from the fossegrim, a person would sacrifice a he-goat to him by
throwing it into the waterfall. If the fairy accepted the gift, the
fossegrim would grab the person’s hands and guide them so violently and
for so long that blood would spurt out of the human’s fingertips. With
their hands bursting apart and spurting blood, the humans in the tales
would beg the fossegrim to stop to allow them to take a break, but the
fossegrim would ignore their student’s cries of pain as they continued
to force the human to play this way for as long as it took for them to
perfect in his art and play so that the trees will dance. (Jacob Grimm)
It should be clear from the amount of brutality in the way the
fossegrim teaches music that fairies are demanding artists, that they
do not accept weakness or pain when it comes to their art. They are
beauty and art lovers to an extreme degree.
However, beauty in
and of itself is a complex issue. It is more than simply in the eye of
the beholder. The same artist who admired sculptures of neoclassicism
can become Picaso who himself created more then just frilly art. He
created works of both love and sorrow. Picaso painted scenes of war and
pain, of sadness and depression alongside his works of happiness and
joy. The same writers who carefully craft jokes and allow the boy to
get the girl in their stories, will also kill major characters in
horrible ways in another tale just as Shakespeare did.
be telling, for example, that the god of poetry in Germanic and Norse
mythology (Wotan) is also the god who determines who will be victorious
and who will lose a battle....
Fairies, like human artists, are
quirky and odd. Artists are prone to violent bouts of rage. When
Michelangelo didn’t like his work on the Sistine Chapel, he tore down a
painting he’d been creating for years. Mozart was often reported to be
half mad and would grow angry at his band for not hearing music that
wasn’t actually playing. Van Gogh cut off his own ear in a fit of rage.
Genius and an extreme, intense interest in one subject create bizarre
quirks among humans so we should anticipate that the people who gave
human traits to fairies would believe that this situation would be the
same among fairies.
Thus, while human art has and is defined by
endings; songs with finales, paintings with exhibition, and plays with
curtains closings, many fairies do not like such destinations, and as
immortal beings they never have to actually seek an ending. Their art
can be a journey which never ends but continues on forever.