An interesting look at a beloved genre…

The Book Wars

“What’s the use of stories if they aren’t even true?” 
– Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Giving this month a title was more problematic than might be apparent. The fairy tale tradition is a body of familiar stories to which most readers were introduced as small children, via retellings. Whether they were picture books, anthologies, movies and television shows or even through oral storytelling. However, even the most casual familiarity with this genre has to reveal that not very many of these stories really deal with fairies and no one story is told the same twice. So why do we call them Fairy Tales? And what, then, should be called a Folk Tale? The origins of fairy and folk tales are embedded in the oral tradition, but even putting all of these stories under the oral tradition umbrella is problematic in that many works (and many that…

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