Ah—now you think I have been lying to you, that this is only a story. It has a king in it. And while a story with Death might be true, a story with a king in it is always a fairy tale. But remember, this comes from a time when kings were as common as corn. Plant a field and you got corn. Plant a kingdom and you got a king. It is that simple.
Your love life is insignificant when it comes to raising your children to be respectable human beings. The moment you see them suffer or lower their standards because of your selfishness, is the day you should realize that nothing matters more than them. You are not just the queen or king of your fairy tale. The real story of your life is the gift of time God gave you with them.
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own.Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one.In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis...In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch.Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until the 19th century.
Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.
I will tell you, too, that every fairy tale has a moral. The moral of my story may be that love is a constraint, as strong as any belt. And this is certainly true, which makes it a good moral. Or it may be that we are all constrained in some way, either in our bodies, or in our hearts or minds, an Empress as well as the woman who does her laundry. ... Perhaps it is that a shoemaker's daughter can bear restraint less easily than an aristocrat, that what he can bear for three years she can endure only for three days. ... Or perhaps my moral is that our desire for freedom is stronger than love or pity. That is a wicked moral, or so the Church has taught us. But I do not know which moral is the correct one. And that is also the way of a fairy tale.
I'll tell you a secret about storytelling. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty... were not perfect in the beginning. It's only a happy ending on the last page, right? If the princess had everything from the beginning, there wouldn't be a story. Anyone who is imperfect or incomplete can become the main character in the story.
I've been very influenced by folklore, fairy tales, and folk ballads, so I love all the classic works based on these things -- like George Macdonald's 19th century fairy stories, the fairy poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's splendid book The Kingdoms of Elfin. (I think that particular book of hers wasn't published until the 1970s, not long before her death, but she was an English writer popular in the middle decades of the 20th century.)I'm also a big Pre-Raphaelite fan, so I love William Morris' early fantasy novels.Oh, and "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (Neil Gaiman is a big fan of that one too), and I could go on and on but I won't!
I think there would have been a time when the basic history would have been common knowledge. You could have been certain that when the king comes on at the beginning -- 'So shaken as we are, so wan with care' -- they know he's wan with care because the country's been in a state of perpetual civil war since he deposed the previous king, Richard II.
All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female heroes in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to do to sit around thinking about stories. [...]In the Odyssey, you'll see three journeys. One is that of Telemachus, the son, going in quest of his father. The second is that of the father, Odysseus, becoming reconciled and related to the female principle in the sense of male-female relationship, rather than the male mastery of the female that was at the center of the Iliad. And the third is of Penelope herself, whose journey is [...] endurance. Out in Nantucket, you see all those cottages with the widow's walk up on the roof: when my husband comes back from the sea. Two journeys through space and one through time.
It's just that, right now, I want to hear you promise me that if we do run out of time and I go mad, like Miranda, it ends with me. The curse ends here, because our baby will be safe. You will make that happen. Isn't that so?"It took him a minute. "Yes," he said finnally. "It's so. Although, if we're just going to talk about the baby, I can think of an easier way to save her."Oh? What?"I'd just lock her up from her sixteenth birthday on."Lucy didn't laugh. "Don't think I haven't thought of that too, love. but here's the thing. That parents try that in all the fairy tales. It never works.
The term - 'Fairy-Tales' is so ironical in itself, when I sometimes sit to write love stories with a happy ending, it usually drags me into a dilemma whether, I should even begin with a love story at first place or not? Because honestly, I haven't seen many of them reaching climax, most of them just die out in the mid. Then comes the concept of fairy tales or what we say 'fiction', where nothing is impossible!But over time, if I've realized something, it is that there's no such term called fiction when it comes to reality! Its harsh, in-your-face-sarcastic, ironical and highly irrational. You can't expect what's coming up next, and how it's going to blow you. In the real life, the entire meaning of fiction ceases to exist. Conclusively, we writers, deal with harsh reality and write lively fictions, this job in itself is so ironical but, that's life...
Rob; you could have been someone I wanted to be with. But you’re not; you never spoke to Niall, not really. You joked and you danced, but how often did you really talk? You never even told him you loved him until it was already too late. What was he to you? A friend? A lover? Or was he just some set piece in Rob Sardan’s great story? Is that what everyone is to you? Can’t we have our own story?
You have a long history," he said, when Lanya indicated her story was finished. "Ah, Harrier, were I to tell you a long story, we should be here for a sennight, perhaps more. Long stories are best saved for deep winter, when the days are short and time grows heavy." Lanya glanced at the sky.
Think of every fairy-tale villainess you've ever heard of. Think of the wicked witches, the evil queens, the mad enchantresses. Think of the alluring sirens, the hungry ogresses, the savage she-beasts. Think of them and remember that somewhere, sometime, they've all been real.Mab gave them lessons.
You see, none of these conflicts are about things that people only sort of like. It is always about love. You may think me blasphemous to use the Passion of the Christ as an example of drama, but not so: this is the one true story, the greatest story ever told, the tale of tales even as Christ is the King of Kings, and all truly inspired fairy tales and fiction have to contain some echo or reflection of the One True Tale, or else it is no tale of any power at all, merely a pastime.The most powerful and potent tales, even when they are told awkwardly and without grace or poetry or craft, are stories of paradise lost and paradise regained; sacrifice, selfless love, forgiveness and salvation; stories of a man who learns better.
I think we have the common beliefs that you have to have a solid run game - you have to run the football to be effective. The bottom line on offense is when we step on the field, we have to maximize scoring opportunities and you've got too minimize mistakes. If we can, then we should be able to put points on the board.
Did I ever tell you the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern one?" she asked him, indulging herself and letting her head rest on his shoulder. God, he felt good. Her man. Where her head was meant to lie, right there, on him. "What's the difference?""A Northern one starts 'once upon a time,' while a Southern one starts 'y'all ain't going to believe this shit.
Since these wonder tales have been with us for thousands of years and have undergone so many different changes in the oral tradition, it is difficult to determine the ideological intention of the narrator, and when we disregard the narrator's intention, it is often difficult to reconstruct (and/or deconstruct) the ideological meaning of a tale. In the last analysis, even if we cannot establish whether a wonder tale is ideologically conservative, sexist, progressive, emancipatory, etc., it is the celebration of wonder that constitutes its major appeal. No matter what the plot may be, this type of tale calls forth our capacity as readers and potential transmitters of its signs and meanings to wonder. We do not want to know the exact resolution, the "happily ever after," of a tale - that is, what it is actually like. We do not want to name God, gods, goddesses, or fairies, who will forever remain mysterious and omnipotent. We do not want to form graven images. We do not want utopia designated for us. We want to remain curious, startled, provoked, mystified, and uplifted. We want to glare, gaze, gawk, behold, and stare. We want to be given opportunities to change, and ultimately we want to be told that we can become kings and queens, or lords of our own destinies. We remember wonder tales and fairy tales to keep our sense of wonderment alive and to nurture our hope that we can seize possibilities and opportunities to transform ourselves and our worlds.
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the [Civil] war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Have you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? I don’t do games. I don’t do one-night stands. I don’t do affairs. Usually, when I meet a woman and take interest in her, I will be loyal to her, and only her. I expect the same. I don’t share well. I’m all for exclusiveness in everything I do, and own. I’m not afraid of commitment or hard work. You’re right; I’m not new to this. I’ve been in many relationships. This is good news, Sophie. It means I won’t waste your time. Rest assured, if I’m with you it’s because that’s exactly where I want to be. If ever I want out of a relationship, I leave. My commitment ends there. It’s simple enough and this is the only thing that makes sense to me.
Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?
Fairy tales, fantasy, legend and myth...these stories, and their topics, and the symbolism and interpretation of those topics...these things have always held an inexplicable fascination for me," she writes. "That fascination is at least in part an integral part of my character — I was always the kind of child who was convinced that elves lived in the parks, that trees were animate, and that holes in floorboards housed fairies rather than rodents.You need to know that my parents, unlike those typically found in fairy tales — the wicked stepmothers, the fathers who sold off their own flesh and blood if the need arose — had only the best intentions for their only child. They wanted me to be well educated, well cared for, safe — so rather than entrusting me to the public school system, which has engendered so many ugly urban legends, they sent me to a private school, where, automatically, I was outcast for being a latecomer, for being poor, for being unusual. However, as every cloud does have a silver lining — and every miserable private institution an excellent library — there was some solace to be found, between the carved oak cases, surrounded by the well–lined shelves, among the pages of the heavy antique tomes, within the realms of fantasy.Libraries and bookshops, and indulgent parents, and myriad books housed in a plethora of nooks to hide in when I should have been attending math classes...or cleaning my room...or doing homework...provided me with an alternative to a reality I didn't much like. Ten years ago, you could have seen a number of things in the literary field that just don't seem to exist anymore: valuable antique volumes routinely available on library shelves; privately run bookshops, rather than faceless chains; and one particular little girl who haunted both the latter two institutions. In either, you could have seen some variation upon a scene played out so often that it almost became an archetype:A little girl, contorted, with her legs twisted beneath her, shoulders hunched to bring her long nose closer to the pages that she peruses. Her eyes are glued to the pages, rapt with interest. Within them, she finds the kingdoms of Myth. Their borders stand unguarded, and any who would venture past them are free to stay and occupy themselves as they would.
When you enter the woods of a fairy tale and it is night, the trees tower on either side of the path. They loom large because everything in the world of fairy tales is blown out of proportion. If the owl shouts, the otherwise deathly silence magnifies its call. The tasks you are given to do (by the witch, by the stepmother, by the wise old woman) are insurmountable - pull a single hair from the crescent moon bear's throat; separate a bowl's worth of poppy seeds from a pile of dirt. The forest seems endless. But when you do reach the daylight, triumphantly carrying the particular hair or having outwitted the wolf; when the owl is once again a shy bird and the trees only a lush canopy filtering the sun, the world is forever changed for your having seen it otherwise. From now on, when you come upon darkness, you'll know it has dimension. You'll know how closely poppy seeds and dirt resemble each other. The forest will be just another story that has absorbed you, taken you through its paces, and cast you out again to your home with its rattling windows and empty refrigerator - to your meager livelihood, which demands, inevitably, that you write about it.
Fairy tales have always been about getting through the worst of everything, the darkest and the deepest and the bloodiest of events. They are about surviving, and what you look like when you emerge from the trial. The reason we keep telling fairy tales over and over, that we need to keep telling them, is that the trials change. So the stories change too, and the heroines and villains and magical objects, to keep them true. Fairy tales are the closets where the world keeps its skeletons.