Saturday, September 18, 2010

Barbara Ardinger's "Transmutation" Will Enchant You

Barbara Ardinger wrote an enchanting story about a beautiful woman who seemed to have everything, yet does not possess a soul, and in which an Alchemist must find her a soul, lest he be destroyed by the Lord Bishop's orders.  Although the author has mentioned that the story is an "alchemical version of Beauty and the Beast," I can't help but also be reminded of The Wizard of Oz due to the girl in this story lacking something vital (in this case, a soul), something that would obviously be impossible to live without. 
As the Alchemist was trying desperately to locate or create a soul for this woman, in the back of my mind I of course wondered whether she already possessed a soul, thus also carrying a similar moral to the story as the one in The Wizard of Oz ("you've always had it, my dear"). 

The story is beautifully written, and does seem to contain a moral within it.  When the Alchemist's housekeeper tells the couple to go and be together in their home in the wilderness (a home the soulless woman dreamed of), she also stated that she would show the Lord Bishop how they have found their souls.  It's possible the housekeeper, who appears to be a good witch, will either trick the Lord Bishop to save the couple, or actually performed a spell in which a soul would be provided to the woman, thus sparing their lives.  But I actually feel the story implied something more meaningful, which is that the woman already had a soul within her all along... for one could not possibly love another without one. 

To read this beautiful story, click here. 

~Posted by Kelly VanBuren

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