Date of Award
USM Access Thesis
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Fairy tale retellings have evolved over the centuries as people’s tastes in narrative have changed to accommodate new technology and social paradigms. Each iteration of an oral tale was itself a retelling; the whole legacy of any given tale type layers up generations of inventions, perspectives, and values. Long after it became fashionable to compose new tales for the French Salon, writers are still looking for the best ways in which to balance the retaining and adapting of older fictional conceits. Modern tale retellings grapple with the very content which once endeared such stories to audiences. In Belledame, the traditional subjects of true love/love at first sight, good vs. evil, and royal destiny are reexamined with a contemporary LGBTQ perspective.
Belledame is a fantasy romance set in a late-medieval-style alternate France, based on the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty.” The split point of view throughout the narrative is divided between the two primary characters and love interests, Rosamonde and Maalot. During the course of this story, Maalot the dark fairy encounters and falls in love with Rosemonde, the “sleeping beauty” figure of the tale, whom she cursed as an infant to fall one day soon into a sleep like death. As Maalot wrestles with her own role in Rosemonde’s hopeless fate, Rosemonde is awakened to the truth of her place in the world, and the secrets that have been kept from her. This novella explores themes of forgiveness, innocence, and mercy while creating an atmosphere of the earthy and sublime.
Hughes, Savannah Fenn, "Belledame" (2019). Stonecoast MFA. 100.