The bad of the classics is their most extraordinary virtue: that they are because we can use them in many ways. The school in Barcelona that He exercised his donoso scrutiny With this story and other similar ones, he forgot that the stories refute any possibility of being crushed by a single interpretation. I will dare to offer you one, to be considered an example of how subversive a red cap can be.
Before, a presentation: I have taught a long history of books and reading at the University of Barcelona, and any student knows that what we consider today "children's and young's literature" is a modern invention, which arose from the differentiation of publics towards the end of the 18th century. Then, with the romantic compilations, many of the most brutal and bloody legends among which is told red Riding Hood they went sweetening. Perrault had already reduced his truculence. But that does not matter: I refer to the concerned parents of the school who have suggested deleting the story to the corresponding volume of the History reading of the occidental world of Chartier and Cavallo.
I say "brutal and bloody legends" with all intention, but I do not say that they are patriarchal, or, at least, only patriarchal. Maybe they are the opposite.
What is this story about in its sweetened versions, without the exercises of bestiality and cannibalism that Perrault suppressed?
A mother and her daughter live alone at the edge of a forest. Grandma lives on the other side of the forest. Three women: three ages. The fertile mother, the girl who will become fertile, the grandmother not fertile. Despite knowing the dangers of the forest, the fertile mother sends the girl, on the verge of puberty, to bring food to the grandmother. Why is the girl dressed in something as striking as a red hood? It has been interpreted in occasions that that red cap is a signal that attracts forest predators. And it is: it is a clitoris in a state of turgor. The mother has dimly sensed that she will have a rival, and she gets rid of her. The delivery to the grandmother, who can not be a rival; Of course, I am not the first to read the story in this way: psychoanalysts, folklorists and compilers have done it.
There are versions in which the hunter does not arrive, there are others in which the wolf flees after eating the girl and the grandmother. But that does not matter: the subversive and unbearable story does not reside there. It resides in the clitoris that crosses the forest, that is exhibited, and that it is not afraid to show itself. It is more: there are versions in which the girl is a boy; Maybe the clitoris is a glans. That is, both at the same time. It does not matter either: a boy or a girl or maybe a being who does not know if it is a boy or a girl, warn that they have something that has to do with sexuality and that only through the indirect form of fiction we incorporate it and convert it in fantasy.
It is not about communicating this obviousness to the girls and boys who read the story; as it is not to indicate the reasons why they tremble and enjoy the infanticide of Hansel and Gretel, with the bloody heels of the stepsisters in Cinderella, or with the ferocious caesarean of the sleeping wolf in The seven kids. It is, on the contrary, to respect their ability to project, manipulate, fragment and play without adults invading them. They alone, alone, suns. That is a library.
Nora Catelli She is a professor at the University of Barcelona and Anagrama rehearsal prize.