The Los Angeles Review of Books has launched a series of essays called Fairy Tales Revisited, looking at fairy tale re-tellings past and present. The first essay is "The Nature of Cinderella" by Marie Rutkoski.
"Fairy tales are rife with transformation," write Rutkoski, "from beast to handsome prince, from dirty scullery maid to well-dressed princess. It is perhaps no coincidence that nature in the Cinderella stories facilitates transformation, for nature itself is a changeable thing, from season to season, from a sunny day to rain, from an egg to a flying bird in a matter of weeks."
Also, on the same site you'll find an interview with one of my favorite authors of the subjects of trees and forests, Robert Pogue Harrison, discussing "Deforestation in a Civilized World."
"When I'm critical of modern approaches to ecology," says Harrison, "I'm really trying to remind my reader of the long relationship that Western civilization has had to these forests that define the fringe of its place of habitation, and that this relationship is one that has a rich history of symbolism and imagination and myth and literature. So much of the Western imagination has projected itself into this space that when you lose a forest, you're losing more than just the natural phenomenon or biodiversity; you're also losing the great strongholds of cultural memory."
I should also note that the Moveable Feast on Creative Inspiration continues to grow. You'll find the full listing (so far) on the Moveable Feast page...and do let me know if you have a new dish to add. All contributions welcome.