Saturday, January 21, 2012

C.S. Lewis on Fairy Tales


“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis

I remember feeling a sense of embarrassment reading fantasy in grade school...I also remember hoping people would notice that I frequented the adult section of the library, and not the children's or young adult. And now I feel no shame in checking out children's books. Did anyone else have a similar experience?

Also C.S. Lewis:
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
And:
“I wrote fairy tales because the Fairy Tale seemed the ideal Form for the stuff I had to say.
Then of course the Man in me began to have his turn. I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. As obligation to feel can freeze feelings." (from the essay Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s To Be Said)

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