“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”― Neil Gaiman
What do I mean, Wonderful & Weirds, by Art is a lie in service of the truth? why is it the first thing I say on this site? And does it have anything to do with why my name is Lie-lie?
I’ll answer those questions in reverse order – 3. No it doesn’t. I just don’t like being called “Lil” but people are determined to shorten names so, as a joke, it became “li” (pronounced Lie).
– 2. Because it is basically the whole point behind this site. To accompany my tiny dark theatre series I want to use this site to explore, in depth, the symbolism and meanings found in fairy tales, myth and more. Their weird, dark and often unexpected origins. The ‘material’ lessons we can learn from literal readings and the ‘immaterial’ deeper meanings hidden in the universal symbolism.
-1. So what do I mean? I mean the same thing so many others have said before, That in all forms of art we have to “tell a lie” create a “fabrication” to express the most truth…… why what did you think? But lets talk about it anyway…
“All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction.”― P.D. James
Didn’t have much growing up. What I did have was a collection of beautifully illustrated books of fairy tales. Not just Cinderella and snow white. I had tales from all over the world. My favorites? Russian fairy tales and Japanese fairy tales.
I could gaze into the illustrations of those stories, like a mediation, and enter them. I knew what was out of frame, through the window and over the bridge.
I started studying philosophy and the occult in my teens and quickly made the connection to the world stories I grew up reading. It occurred to me that all of man’s stories are A. the same story (no it’s not boy meets girl…well not exactly) and that B. people have a tendency to conflate their preferred language of truth with truth it’s self.
11 years ago (or more years ago if you are reading from the future) I made a short animation exploring that second point. It was the first animation that I would actually put out there, and was made for the Nine Inch Nails “Ghosts” project. The piece used symbolism of my own, to represent how universal symbolism gets disconnected from it’s truth. Which was fun.
Not long after that I released what I intended to be the first of a series of shorts exploring the meanings behind nursery rhymes, “Jack and Jill, A wicked tale”. But that ended up becoming the prologue to a much longer story exploring the journey of the character Jill. A story that I am still working on (or if you are reading from the future…a story that I am still working on 😉 ) And a story that ended up being unintentionally autobiographical.
This accidental revealing of my own truths, some hard to face, through writing a fiction, lead me back, a decade later, to that first idea of a series of shorts exploring “hidden meanings” in familiar tales.
The tiny dark theatre was born.
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”– Joseph Campbell
The word “Symbol” comes from the Greek symbolon, literally, token of identity from symballein meaning to throw together . It’s opposite is diabolos, literally, slanderer, from diaballein to throw across/apart. This is the word we get “devil” from too.
So you might say that separating symbols from the truth they represent is probably a bad idea. “Devilish”, and not in the sexy way.
Literalism can do a great deal of harm, obscure truth, cause us to choose between one or another when we need both and lead us down some very odd paths……especially if you are going to literally read most fairy tales! sooo very odd. And pretty gross too….. Modern Horror movies don’t have much on some of these tales!.
So what was the thing I thought all the stories we tell, the ones that mater, were about?
I could only come up with one succinct way of saying this, but it sounds pretentious so look past that for me, cheers – “An attempt to resolve an apparent contradiction between seeming opposites.” Dark and light, masculine and feminine, material and immaterial, dreams and reality, individual and collective, Disney and Dreamworks. The old stories seemed to be trying to tell us something about these opposites, what we were to do with them. Balance them.
“Know thyself” then put thyself into balance to be whole.
Create a lie to tell the truth that the things you fear are the things you should face, that purity may not come from abstinence, that the things you want may not be the things you need, that your darkness is not a thing to be overcome but integrated and so so many more true things that keep changing and growing with you as you live AND with us as a society as we grow together.
” We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from them the need for mythology. “– Carl Jung
So now you are all caught up, Wonderful & Wierds. This is the underpinning for this whole project. The films can 100% be enjoyed as is without any of this if you aren’t into it, and that is totally fine, glad to entertain you, that’s what it’s all about. But if you are interested, do keep reading to explore more (or if you are reading this from the past, don’t because I haven’t written it yet)
I will be writing a short essay exploring the origins, literal lessons, changing social factors and underlying universal symbolism in every one of the tiny dark theatre plays. As well as keeping you up to date with my ongoing larger projects. See you on the next page.