Friday, 30 May 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

I was checking the internet to see how many episodes there are for Sleepy Hollow, season one. Turns out to be 13, and I have just finished it. It is really a cliff hanger and both me and my son can hardly wait for the second season. They are filming and it will not be shown until September 2014! Just have to wait for the exciting continuation.

While searching the internet I saw that the series and the movie is loosely (very loosely) based on the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. It reminds me of the stories of Henry James. The mystery hidden somewhere, but you do not always know where. The entry into other, supernatural worlds. All taking place in the countryside, close to the forest, creeks, bridges and small paths. Fog, maybe, something hidden in the unseen! I think you get my meaning.

The story is about Ichabod Crane and a Headless Horseman and how the legend came to be. Crane was a school teacher in Sleepy Hollow, which is in an area where witch-craft and superstition prevails. We follow Crane falling in love with a wealthy farmer's daughter. He is pretty sure that he will beat the other contester, Brom Bones, who is a little bit of a local bully. However, things don't go as planned and Crane leaves the party to ride home in the night. But he never reaches home, something is happening
in the woods!

Washington Irving
I said earlier the story reminds me of Henry James' where you are given the facts and are left to figure out the end for yourselves. However, the facts are not always crystal clear! The end will then be different depending on who is reading it. It is rather frustrating of course, but it also leaves a little bit of thinking to you.

Washington Irving is best known for this short story and Rip Van Winkle. He also wrote historical works including biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad and was interested in 15th century Spain.  He served as the US Ambassador to Spain from 1842-46.

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