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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Saturday Rave: The Love of Three Oranges.

This isn't necessarily a story about oranges. There's a three pomegranates version, and in various parts of Italy this tale features a whole salad of fruit.

The tale tells of a prince looking for a beautiful wife. (This alone tells you he's an idiot, because, of course, you need more than beauty for a happy marriage.)

Anyway, he goes on to take advice - and three oranges - from a woman who lives in a place called The Isle of Ogresses (which you'd have thought would have been a bit of a clue that things aren't going to turn out too well).

Anyway, he's too slow to catch the fairies that come out of the first two oranges, but when he catches the fairy from the last orange he decides that this is the woman for him.

He takes her home and hides her up a tree (up a tree?) and then...

...well, there's a thoroughly evil servant woman who makes the poor fairy suffers very much for a long time. The idiot prince stays in character throughout, believing everything everybody tells him, the poor mutt.

Ah well. The non-evil people do get to live happily ever after, even possibly the poor fairy, because with a husband that stupid she'll be able to do anything she likes without him so much as noticing.

There we are. Prokofiev did an opera of the story which celebrates the general bonkersness of the whole thing.

Word To Use today: orange. This word came to English in the 1300s from Old French, Old Provençal, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit (nāranga) and probably from some Dravidian word before that.

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