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28 November 2011 @ 10:41 pm
GK Chesterton on fairy tales  
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

-- G. K. Chesterton

I have been asked why I am still so fond of fairy tales when, after all, I'm "grown-up".  I think Mr. Chesterton hits the nail on the head.  Fairy tales are full of hope and promise, and not just in the vein of and they lived happily ever after.  No, I like fairy tales because again and again, they present a man or woman - sometimes prince, sometimes peasant - with challenges that are overwhelming and scary, the sorts of things that any sane person would run and hide from.  But rather than succumbing to common sense or cowardice (depending on your point of view) the hero of the fairy tale boldly steps forward and defeats the dragon.  They might cut it down with a sword or trick it or (if a Christian saint) toss a rope around the great beast's neck and subdue it, but ultimately they are victorious over the impossible.

It might be silly, but that's why I like fairy tales.