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March 11 2013

Sleeping Beauties Vs. Gonzo Girls. The New Yorker's discussion of modern female trickster heroines mentions Buffy.

Thanks for posting this. I don't know enough about trickster gods; but this seemed to run a lot of different things together in a haphazard 'I know stuff but I'm on drugs' sort of way. Fun, but not persuasive - in large part because I didn't know what was really being said. I've read a (small) number of articles in The New Yorker over the years and, from what I remember, a lot of them struck me this way. Maybe it's their thing. At its worst, educated nonsense; writerly pap.

But I did genuinely enjoy the blizzard of references all the same. Buffy's sense of irony, and the series' sense of subversion, did have something of a tricksterish edge to them. But I can't help feeling that I read the blitzed-up highlights of a more considered, longer article.
Buffy was always a clever one, though I'm not sure "trickster" is a good description. Resourceful and witty does not Coyote make.
Weren't there a bunch of comments to this article that somehow disappeared? I remember I left a comment about it, and I wasn't the first one, there were at least 2-3 comments before me.

Anyway, my now disappeared comment was that the one thing I disagree with in the article is this line: "The upright, brainy female, physically commanding and a bit unhinged, is less of a crowd-pleaser" (than the Sleeping Beauty types). The popularity of The Hunger Games, the Millennium trilogy and Buffy, all mentioned in this article, proves that these kinds of heroines actually are popular with many.
Time, your comment ended up on the SMG cake thread, where it was... tangential.

I honestly am not sure I can buy into the premise behind the article, or rather, its terminology. Tricksters? When I think Trickster characters, I'm thinking of Loki, Joker, Riddler, Mr. Mxyzptlk. In fact, most 'tricksters' automatically leap to mind as villains. For hero/protagonist, I come to... well, your rogues, perhaps, grifters like Nathan Ford or Sophie ("Leverage"), or *maybe* Kitty Pryde? Certainly as depicted in combat in X3, for instance.

And while I know she is a "Buffy" progenitor, still -- Buffy, Katniss, these are apolitical creatures who pace Cpl. Hudson, prefer a stand up fight to a bug hunt, don't like to posture or put on pretense, they like to understand their problem and beat/blow/projectile weapon it to hell. This is what it means to be a trickster? Seems unreasonable expansive in its usage.
Odysseus, Reynard (the fox) and Puss in Boots are the first trickster protagonists that come to mind for me. Together with their modern descendants (like Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox) they're probably among the most well known, but I think there also must be many more obscure ones (Unibos, from the Versus de Unibove, for example comes to mind as one rather obscure example).
I think the term trickster is mis-used. these women are in physical combat with 'larger males.' it's not so much a trick-unless these guys don't know what to expect.
I have an issue with the Briar Rose portrayal. She fell into the spell because she had already lost that for which she lived. also, i believe the author meant to say, 'NEW trickster heroines...'

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