06 April, 2012
A to Z Challenge: F is for Fairy Tales
“Can you not see, […] that fairy tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward; but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming." ― G.K. Chesterton
This one quote could sum up everything that makes me thrill to fairy tales. They are not, as so many modern realists claim, an escape from reality. Rather, they are a window into true understanding of our world and ourselves.
The universe is wild and untamed and full of danger and excitement. Why do we try so hard to to believe it isn't so? Is it really so much better to live a life of physical comfort if it means denying our souls the freedom of awe and wonder? Danger is a small price to pay for that.
"The problem of the fairy tale is - what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is - what will a madman do with a dull world?" ― G.K. Chesterton
I could talk about this for hours. But I'll keep it short for the sake of this post. Perhaps this is the price of cold, hard realism: it gives no hope and actively drowns the rapture of life. With no true hope in something beyond ourselves, when life doesn't matter beyond the mundane, what evil wouldn't we do?
"In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos. ” ― G.K. Chesterton
How many people today are depressed, angry, or even lifeless? How many who believe in higher ideals are broken down by others, the realists? We need fairy tales. They don't teach us to live in some cloudy la-la land - they teach us to fully embrace life and, with it, reality. Most of all, they give us hope of something beyond the mundane.
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton
Okay, everyone - the Saturday Flash Fiction Challenge is tomorrow! The letter for this week is G.
Give me your ideas, words, pictures, etc. in the comments. I'll choose my favorite tonight, write a flash fiction based off of it, and post it tomorrow.
WINNER'S PRIZE: advertisement of you and your blog in tomorrow's post with many accolades from me.
RULES ARE HERE.
Please, comment away! I'm excited to see what I'll be writing about. And be sure to tweet or like this post to get more people in on the suggestions.