Relevant Fairies?

Do fairies translate to the techno, postmodern world?

M.J. Downing

First of all, I’m looking or comments on this subject.  So, please give this a thought, especially in light of the last story I posted, “An Eye to See.” Halloween stories need  a source of threat. I chose fairies, this time, because I don’t see many scary stories about them.  Therefore, they were an old threat, in my view, to which I tried to give some currency. But are they relevant?

As one of my characters in “Eye” says, most cultures around the world have some sort of fairy lore, from First American to African.  The flavor fairies give to their different cultures varies, though they are seen, most often, as small beings, some mischievous, some helpful, all existing apart from us, the Big People, as Tolkien’s hobbits would say. They are like us, somewhat, embodied as we are, head, limbs, torso in more or less the same arrangement.  Part of the fun of fairy lore is seeing the differences depicted between human and fay kind in different places. Some, like the Ireland’s Sihde and Hawaii’s Menehune are seen by some as conquered races, considered inferior by the winners of history’s struggles

I chose fairies because they represent a threat that dwells in our midst, which I sense every day.  All around me are voices in contention about who’s right and wrong, who wins and gets to call the shots. So, I see them as having a story value like that and can pull enough stories from the general lore of fairies to show them as perilous. But I wonder if in themselves, in their typical nature,  they translate to readers now-a-days.  They lack any technology and exist in their own understanding of time and space, not ours.  Glamour, the ability to have us see them looking like something they are not, is their chief power, which they have used time and again to bring humans to their world and enslave them.  Whatever they offer us soon fades into nothing or some base substance.

It seems likely that we could discuss them as a metaphor for addiction—or technology itself, since we are ever increasingly controlled by what tech offers us: an easier way to live in the world, which never quite pans out. See? Addiction is in there, too.  We may go along fine with it for a while, but then the signal is cut, the high runs out, the sun rises, if you will, and the fairy gift fades.  Our reality comes thundering back in, reminding us that we are just plain folk, not perhaps, masters of our fates.

Can fairies be seen like that in your view?  I’d like to know.



One thought on “Relevant Fairies?

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  1. My limited understanding of fairies is that they are more dangerous to my autonomy than technology. Sure, I am inconvenienced by technology ie apps and programs from time to time. But, fairies are more than inconvenient they can change my mental, physical, and chronologic reality resulting in my inability to return to my previous state. They can enslave people – which fortunately tech hasn’t accomplished yet.


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