A Good Egg, a Bad Seed?
I've been reading stories in Emanations 2 + 2 = 5. Just now, I finished a story that echoed something else I've read:
When they'd first called her "Goblin" she'd looked the word up in the school encyclopedia. Yes, she can see what they mean. Here lies the source of all sorcery. Perhaps there always had been others like her, sliding here from wibbly-wobbly worlds? Cro-mags. Neanderthals. Perhaps there always had been others, blown here from ghost continents, unable to return, exiles, trapped here for years, or decades, before moving on. (Andrew Darlington, "My Little Black Egg," Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5, p. 181)Nice wordplay - "source of all sorcery" - and I'm reminded of Doris Lessing's novel The Fifth Child, the story of Ben, a 'goblin' born into a human family, the mother of which comes to see Ben as some sort of genetic throwback amidst her normal children, so she visits a renowned pediatric doctor for an expert's opinion and asks the doctor's impression of Ben:
He's not human, is he? . . . How do we know what kinds of people - races, I mean - creatures different from us, have lived on this planet? In the past, you know? We don't really know, do we? How do we know that dwarves or goblins or hobgoblins, that kind of thing, didn't really live here? (Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child, pp. 105-106)The premise is interesting. Goblins, trolls, hobgoblins, and even more were various hominid species other than humans, so they're more than myths. Darlington's construction of the relationship differs a bit from Lessing's on this point. I'm informed, incidentally, that fairy tales are much older than previously thought . . .