Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"The Truth of Fairy Tales"

It may be a commonplace to call our age one that prides itself on freedom from the “miserable dark ages,” from obscurantism, superstition, and perhaps belief in anything beyond the inquiry of natural science; but while materialisms philosophical and commercial may seem to rule the day in much of the world, somehow the most popular stories remain those inspired by the visions of former ages: by thought-worlds too foreign and spacious for the physicalist or relativistic confinement cell.  Fairy tales continue to be retold– just think of Disney, the Shrek films, or the two Snow White films to be released next year–and new stories inspired by them emerge one after another.  How could stories like The Lord of the Rings receive such popularity and affection from an age that appears so thoroughly to despise all that comes from its world of origin?

Because fairy tales bear in their hearts something that satisfies our longings; they carry truths too obvious for the modernist to remember, and if we search them out we may learn something not only of them but of ourselves and the world we inhabit.

Above:  Saint George and the Dragon"

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