Kristen McMenamy in “Far, Far From Land” by Tim Walker for W December 2013
"Far, Far From Land"
"Where the waters are as blue as the petals of a cornflower and as clear as glass, there, where no anchor can reach the bottom, live the mer-people.
"If you cannot make the prince fall so much in love with you that his every thought concerns only you, then, the first morning after he has married another, your heart will break and you will become foam on the ocean.
"That which we consider beautiful down here in the ocean, your fishtail, they find ugly up on earth. They have no sense; up there, you have to have two clumsy props, which they call legs, in order to be called beautiful.
"It was the last night that she would breathe the same air as he, or look out over the deep sea and up into the star-blue heaven. A dreamless, eternal night awaited her, for she has no soul and had not been able to win one."
(Text adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, 1836)