Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Night: Studying Fairytales




Dr. Haase is the author of FAIRY TALES & FEMINISM, THE RECEPTION OF GRIMMS' FAIRY TALES and THE GREENWOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRY TALES, VOl 1 and 2.

As I have probably mentioned before on here, I never was much of a reader of fairy tales. I always preferred stories rooted in the world I knew. Which is also what keeps me from fantasy and science fiction. Were you a reader of fairy tales?

13 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Well, surprise! It helped that they were what I was taught to read with, ez reader Grimm's and Dr. Seuss, and my parents were inclined to not altogether dissimilar stuff (though my father was much more comfortable, as an engineer, with sf than with fantasy or fairy tales, and my mother was, when reading fiction, leaning toward crime fiction).

But really, All fiction is metaphor...the most mimetic fiction can't actually reflect reality, and all fiction is about humanity, one way or another...and what we face.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It takes some of us longer to grasp that than others.

felix said...
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Margot Kinberg said...

Honestly, Patti, fairy tales were never my thing as much either. I liked stories about the real world, so to speak.

George said...

I grew up reading Grimm's fairy tales and Dr. Seuss and comic books. I only got around to reading "realistic" fiction when I was a teenager.

John said...

Yes, I read lots of them when younger. And to my macabre little mind the more horrific and the more gruesome the fairy tale the better. Fairy tales I think are give us some of the most powerful basic stories about real human emotions and behavior. They just happens to do it with magic and talking animals.

It's interesting to me to come across people who write fiction who are not interested in fantasy. All fiction, after all, is nothing but fantasy. I will always agree with what Todd says so succinctly above.

(BTW - How did that spam comment sneak through?)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess it depends of how you define fantasy. It's not just pretend or made up to me. It's stories with characters or events or phenomenon that don't exist in the world we know. Having said that, I am writing a fantasy right now.

Ron Scheer said...

I share your lack of interest in fairy tales, no matter what form they come in. I attribute this to the unwilling suspension of disbelief. Reality us unreal enough without twisting it further.

But I learned once from Robert Bly a way to read fairy tales--as a form of primitive, pre-Freudian psychology. Find one that registers with you, consider that it may be about you, then memorize it so you can internalize it in every detail, and over time learn from it. That, alas, requires a degree of self-absorption I lack, too.

Richard R. said...

I had as a child, and still do, a very nice pair of volumes with beautiful color illustrations, of Grimms' Fairy Tales and Anderson's Fairy Tales. I generally liked the Anderson a little better, but read both volumes through many, many times. To me they were just stories, no more or less fantastic than the children's books I was read as a little one. I mean really, how different is "The Ugly Duckling" from "The Little Engine That Could"? A swan that thought it was a dick, a train locomotive that could think and talk? It's all fantasy, and there was plenty of magic in those fairy tales and children's stories.

Are Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories fairy tales? Sure they are. Fantasy? Yep. But hey, so is The Old Man and the Sea, and Main Street, and Atlas Shrugged.

I agree with Todd too. It's just fiction, forget the gender tags.

Cap'n Bob said...

I got all of my fairy tales from Walt Disney, and enjoyed them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Disney took the sting out of them.

Michelle Snyder said...

What fascinates me about fairy tales is that they were at one time non-fiction. In these "children's" stories are remnants of the Vanir and Maglamosian cultures thousands of years old. Their knowledge and history was recorded and passed on with oral tradition and symbols, and have survived as fairy tales. For more info visit Once Upon a Time: World of Symbols blog. Many posts there deal with the context of this language.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Michelle. I will take a look.