| Ned | Fr |






Picture(c)Guy Kleinblatt


- enlarge -

The Beauty and the Beast in medieval Antwerp
A new version of an old fairy tale

The Rose and the Swine was inspired by Beauty and the Beast, a fairy tale which was written down by Gianfresco Straparola in the first half of the sixteenth century. When Rosalena is born, she is so frail that her fate seems sealed, but, with the help of the fairies, the ugly, almost transparent baby develops into a woman whose beauty no one can resist. In contrast to this faultless beauty, Provoost presents ugliness in the form of a warthog, Rosalena's help and support. Together, they are like two sides of the same coin. In the meantime, the warthog makes way for other monsters.

Throughout the story, disasters in the surrounding area are linked to the beauty of the main character. The fairies struggle to retain her beauty; angels fight for her innocence. The fact that they are fighting a losing battle is expressed as Rosalena sighs, "Once I was ugly and stunted. But I was unspoiled. Now I am perfect, but spoiled". Antwerp is hit by a smallpox epidemic, after which Rosalena's perfection evokes even more tenderness, frustration and aggression. Finally, Rosalena's destiny leads her to Lord Thybeert, as ugly as a warthog, as coarse and as tender.

Thybeert's ruthless behaviour is his way of dealing with the sorrow of losing his beloved: "Unreasonableness is the only thing that helps against sadness". Inner beauty or deformity prove time and again to be considerably more complex and unpredictable than physical appearance.

Dutch editions

  • De roos en het zwijn
    Amsterdam: Querido, feesteditie, 2006
    ISBN: 90 451 0358 3

  • De roos en het zwijn
    Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff, Schooleditie Jonge Lijsters, 2003
    ISBN: 9001 55599 3 (Nederland)
    ISBN: 9001 556027

  • De roos en het zwijn
    Amsterdam: Querido, 1997
    111 pag.
    Cover: Gert Dooreman
    ISBN 90 214 7864 1

German editions

  • Rosalenas Spiegel
    München: Deutscher Taschenbuch, pocket edition, 2004
    Translated by Silke Schmidt
    ISBN: 3 323 70860 3

  • Rosalenas Spiegel
    Berlin; München: Altberliner, 2000
    Translated bySilke Schmidt
    ISBN: 3 357 00930 7

Polish edition

  • Róża i Wieprz
    Warschau: Wydawnictwo Sic!, 2005
    Translated by Jadwiga Jedryas
    ISBN: 83 88807 73 0

Norwegian edition

  • Rosen og svinet
    Oslo: Aschehoug, 1998
    Translated by Bodil Engen
    ISBN: 82 03 24228 6

Swedish edition

  • Rosalena
    Stockholm: Opal, 1998
    Translated by Boerje Bohlin
    ISBN: 91 7270 876 X

Danish edition

  • Rosen og svinet
    København: Høst & Søn, 1998
    Translated by Nina Malinovski and Ludo Leroy
    ISBN: 87 14 19570 4