In commemoration of Angela Carter’s death 25 years ago on this day, 16th February 2017, BBC Arts has uploaded a wonderful video clip of Angela Carter talking to Terry Jones about her fascination with the tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
With reference to Carter’s 1979 collection entitled The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Jones begins by noting that “under Angela Carter’s spell, Puss-in-Boots and Little Red Riding Hood emerge as far more erotic and sinister than anything that was ever read to me as a child”. He then asks Carter about her story entitled ‘The Courtship of Mr Lyon’, which he describes as a straight retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Carter responds with a huge smile and a warm chuckle, noting “it’s kind of greasy, isn’t it? I mean, what a greasy beast he is! Moral blackmail”.
“It’s kind of greasy, isn’t it? I mean, what a greasy beast he is! Moral blackmail”.
During this brief clip from Paperbacks (broadcast originally in June 1981), Carter discusses with the former Monty Python star the aspects of fairy tales that interest her the most, including questions of gender, sexuality, and power. Hopefully the BBC will make the full interview available at some point in the future, as it is a joy to watch Carter and Jones talk and laugh together. To watch the full clip, head over to the BBC Arts website here.