Thursday, November 19, 2009

UPDATE: Ladies and Unicorns

In a post about my pilgrimage to the City of Our Lady, I mentioned another lady, namely that Lady who hangs out with the unicorn. The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries housed in the Musée de Cluny in Paris are one of the great artworks our species has produced, and rather predictably I interpret them as an allegory of the spiritual path (exhaustive exegesis forthcoming).

Now, Nina Shen Rastogi, in a wonderful essay, seeks to answer the timeless question, "Why Do Girls Love Unicorns?"

If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, Rastogi's subtitle is "It's more than just the horn."

Rastogi jets from ancient Greek lit to Rabelais to "sticker and stationery queen Lisa Frank" to trace the devolution of the once-fierce, once-sexy equine into a universal symbol of schlock, and she ends up decoding a pivotal moment in the cartoon epic The Last Unicorn. Much like the tapestries, this sub-Disney narrative points to hidden or lost parts of the self and dares us to reunite with them, to become whole, to gather what is scattered.

No comments:

Post a Comment