[LMB] Fairy tales, OT: was Rowling

Katherine Collett kcollett at hamilton.edu
Sun Oct 10 22:57:24 BST 2021


On Oct 10, 2021, at 4:41 PM, Becca Price <becca7108 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> "Fairy tales are not meant to tell children there are monsters: they
>>> already know what.  Fairy tales are to tell them the monsters can be
>>> defeated."
> 
> I've also seen it attributed to Neil Gaiman

There's a similar exchange in Pratchett's Hogfather (or anyway, the quoted passage reminds me of the Pratchett one):

"You're saying humans need fantasies to make life bearable?..." 

"... NO.  HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN."

But back to the fairy tale quotation -- it looks like the original source is indeed Chesterton _as paraphrased by_ Neil Gaiman!  In Coraline, Gaiman says "Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten," credited to Chesterton.  More discussion here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1407558-misattributed-quote  

Katherine


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