We recently published Jonathan Cardew’s bewitching “Baba Yaga.”
Here, we ask him two questions about his story:
1) Except for little details like the chicken-legged shack and the spell-casting, this story could almost be about any old woman watching a child and remembering her youth. What made you pick the Baba Yaga as your main character here?
I used to read an illustrated book of myths and legends to my daughters, and we especially loved the tale of Baba Yaga, My daughters are now 13 and 15, but I still remember stretching out and reading it with them, tracing our fingers over her big witchly nose. We used to love to say her name: Ba-ba Ya-ga. The witch with the iron teeth.
2) Do you think there is still a place in this world for old gods like the Baba Yaga? Or do you think she, as she has become old, has lost her place here as well?
If Baba Yaga were around now, she’d thrive in an atmosphere of fevered cultishness; blue check marked, followed by millions, she’d influence the fuck out of everybody and smile.