Fairy Tales 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Fairy Tale of the King... and other things.

Georg Kaiser presents a story of a king who is so well loved, that his every action is mirrored by the whole of his court. One day the king begins to question his power, and wonders if perhaps he is not all powerful himself, but rather his power is merely an illusion because of his court. He therefore leaves his palace and journeys among the common folk, to see if they respect him without his court surrounding him. Unsurprisingly, people really don't care too much about this random dude who has no robes, gold, or court followers. However, he does meet a beautiful young woman, whose family has just been put to death, on order of the king, for not paying their taxes. He consoles the young woman, they fall in love, and then decide to found a new kingdom, one based on love.

Up to this point, the tale is fairly mundane. It's horribly cliche and predictable, but nonetheless does present a moral. Up until the very last sentence that is. "With her as queen, he decided to found a new realm, the realm of Love, a fairy tale realm in which even fish were seen to mate in the air." Now really, I can't even think of a valid quizzical response to that that doesn't include one or two vulgarities at the very least. ~ la la la ~ Fairy tale of a king learning a lesson that all of us should learn ~ la la la ~ fairy tale fish having sex in mid-air.

I can't even come up with a good BS reasoning for this. Sure it's something fantastical to denote the realm as fairy-tale like, but why not talk about galloping unicorns, or dancing pixies. Pretty much anything but the copulation of fish in mid-air. Maybe Kaiser was going for some sort of satirical commentary on the nature of romantic literature. Maybe he honestly though that fish mating in mid-air was a valid fairy tale occurrence that audiences would enjoy. Hell, maybe the guy who translated it to English was just having a bad day and decided to take it out on this poor Georg Kaiser dude. Your guess is clearly as good as mine. Or Georg Kaiser's. Or his translator.


  1. I wrote about this fairy tale too, and I will say that the fish mating in mid air was a bit odd. At the same time though, when reading it I certainly sat on my couch and went "Wow". But the wow moreso played into the fairy tale element and how the realm itself was called "The Realm of Love". Idk... but I think it really fit for me. Maybe if it was written in a more distasteful manner it would seem out of order, but it kinds fit in with this idea of love for me. Or maybe that says more about me than I'd want people to know. Haha. Lol

  2. I want to mate with fish in mid-air!

    I mean... odd... yes...

    I find this line particularly interesting because the tone of the entire story is honost and direct. There is no irony in the story except for the dramatic irony of the king not being loved or admired even though he thought he was--which is an entirely different form of irony than would make the statement possibly sardonic. Thus we must analyze it as a serious and open expression of etherial and permeated love. How is this possible? In my humble opinion, which is completely right and unquestionable because it comes from me, Georg Kaiser considers fish, as creatures of the deep/water to be the great concealers since we cannot know of their interactions or presentments as surface dwellers that require air to survive. He therefore, by saying that the fish mate in the air, expresses that they do not need to be consealing of their love and can be open in such displays... What may be more interesting to ask is if "even the fish" mate in the air, where would human mating take place in order to make it public?