The artist usually sets out - or used to - to point a moral and adorn a tale. The tale, however, points the other way, as a rule. Two blankly opposing morals, the artist's and the tale's. Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper functions of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
The artist usually sets out -- or used to -- to point a moral and adorn a tale. The tale, however, points the other way, as a rule. Two blankly opposing morals, the artist's and the tale's. Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper functions of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
D. H. Lawrence
For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are the selfsame tale and contain as well all within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall.
There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of beind except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And... in whatever... place by whatever... name or by no name at all... all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.
There is another version of the tale. That is the tale the women tell each other, in their private language that the men-children are not taught, and that the old men are too wise to learn. And in that version of the tale perhaps things happened differently. But then, that is a women's tale, and it is never told to men.
From a tale one expects a bit of wildness, of exaggeration and dramatic effect. The tale has no inherent concern with decorum, balance or harmony. ... A tale may not display a great deal of structural, psychological, or narrative sophistication, though it might possess all three, but it seldom takes its eye off its primary goal, the creation of a particular emotional state in its reader. Depending on the tale, that state could be wonder, amazement, shock, terror, anger, anxiety, melancholia, or the momentary frisson of horror.
From a tale one expects a bit of wildness, of exaggeration and dramatic effect. The tale has no inherent concern with decorum, balance or harmony... A tale may not display a great deal of structural, psychological, or narrative sophistication, though it might possess all three, but it seldom takes its eye off its primary goal, the creation of a particular emotional state in its reader. Depending on the tale, that state could be wonder, amazement, shock, terror, anger, anxiety, melancholia, or the momentary frisson of horror.
A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results. So he goes to work. To write a novel? No-that is a thought which comes later; in the beginning he is only proposing to tell a little tale, a very little tale, a six-page tale. But as it is a tale which he is not acquainted with, and can only find out what it is by listening as it goes along telling itself, it is more than apt to go on and on and on till it spreads itself into a book. I know about this, because it has happened to me so many times.
If our life is ever really as beautiful as a fairy tale, we shall have to remember that all the beauty of a fairy tale lies in this: that the prince has a wonder which just stops short of being fear. If he is afraid of the giant, there is an end of him; but also if he is not astonished at the giant, there is an end of the fairy tale. The whole point depends upon his being at once humble enough to wonder, and haughty enough to defy.
You can't tell half a tale, Poison. You can't write half a book. Whatever you choose to do next will completely change the aspect of what has gone before. if you decided to suddenly kill your friends as they slept -' Why would I do that?' Poison interjected. Bear with me, ' Fleet said patiently. 'If you did, then the tale would take on a whole new light. Instead of being the journey of Poison from Gull to save her sister, it would be the terrible story of how a young girl became a cold-blooded killer. They way it would be written would be different. Do you see? Or you might die right now, and it would turn out that it wasn't your tale all along it was Bram's or Peppercorn's, and you were just one of the sideline characters. The whole story has to be known before it can be recorded; otherwise it might suddenly change. That's the beauty, Poison. You never know what's going to happen next. When the tale is ended, then the writing will be visible to your eyes; until then it is unwritten.
That's how you get deathless, volchitsa. Walk the same tale over and over, until you wear a groove in the world, until even if you vanished, the tale would keep turning, keep playing, like a phonograph, and you'd have to get up again, even with a bullet through your eye, to play your part and say your lines.
Catherynne M. Valente
The fairy tale, which to this day is the first tutor of children because it was once the first tutor of mankind, secretly lives on in the story. The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales. Whenever good counsel was at a premium, the fairy tale had it, and where the need was greatest, its aid was nearest. This need was created by myth. The fairy tale tells us of the earliest arrangements that mankind made to shake off the nightmare which myth had placed upon its chest.
Ultimately, the definition of both the wonder tale and the fairy tale, which derives from it, depends on the manner in which a narrator/author arranges known functions of a tale aesthetically and ideologically to induce wonder and then transmits the tale as a whole according to customary usage of a society in a given historical period. The first stage for the literary fairy tale involved a kind of class and perhaps even gender appropriation. The voices of the nonliterate tellers were submerged, and since women in most cases were not allowed to be scribes, the tales were scripted according to male dictates or fantasies, even though they may have been told by women. Put crudely, it could be said that the literary appropriation of the oral wonder tales served the hegemonic interests of males within the upper classes of particular communities and societies, and to a great extent this is true. However, such a statement must be qualified, for the writing down of the tales also preserved a great deal of the value system of those deprived of power. And the more the literary fairy tale was cultivated and developed, the more it became individualized and varied by intellectuals and artists, who often sympathized with those society marginalized or were marginalized themselves. The literary fairy tale allowed for new possibilities of subversion in the written word and in print, and therefore it was always looked upon with misgivings by the governing authorities in the civilization process.
There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.
Most high and happy princess, we must tell you a tale of the Man in the Moon, which if it seem ridiculous for the method, or superfluous for the matter, or for the means incredible, for three faults we can make but one excuse: it is a tale of the Man in the Moon. It was forbidden in old time to dispute of chimaera, because it was a fiction. We hope in our times none will apply pastimes, because they are fancies; for there liveth none under the sun that knows what to make of the Man in the Moon. We present neither comedy, nor tragedy, nor story, nor anything, but... that whosoever heareth may say this: 'Why, here is a tale of the Man in the Moon'.
That's what we do, man, we're like storytellers. We tell you stories from the streets. Whether we did it before when we was young or we heard it from one of the homies telling us a tale of what he been through. It's all in having fun and creating a movie like vibe to tell a tale from the streets.
Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for.
Robert Falcon Scott
Often I felt that these men were play-acting: the unreality of their role was their security, even their own destinies were to them saga and folk-tale rather than a private matter; these were men under a spell, men who had been turned into birds or even more likely into some strange beast, and who bore their magic shapes with the same unflurried equanimity, magnanimity, and dignity that we children had marvelled at the beasts of fairy tale. Did they not suspect, moreover, with the wordless apprehension of animals, that if their magic shapes were to be stripped from them the fairy tale would be at an end and their security gone, too, while real life would begin with all it's problems, perhaps in some town where there was neither nature or mirage, no link with the folk-tale and the past, no ancient path to the far side of the mountains and down to the river gullies and out beyond the grass plains, no landmarks from the Sagas? - Only a restless search for sterile, deadening enjoyment.
And those characters [in a fairy tale] dwell in a moral world, whose laws are as clear as the law of gravity. That too is a great advantage of the folk tale. It is not a failure of imagination to see the sky blue. It is a failure rather to be weary of its being blue- and not to notice how blue it is. And appreciation of the subtler colors of the sky will come later. In the folk tale, good is good and evil is evil, and the former will triumph and later will fail. This is not the result of the imaginative quest. It is rather its principle and foundation. It is what will enable the child later on to understand Macbeth, or Don Quixote, or David Copperfield.
I remember him reading 'Sleeping Beauty,' and he would play the score by Tchaikovsky as he read it. We'd also read 'Winnie the Pooh,' and, you know, those probably that he most often read me were 'Beatrix Potter' books, 'The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck' and 'The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.' I still have at least 15 of them.
Our souls yearn for connection with all souls. There are people we think we prefer and others we don't, but half the time that's a lie: We tell ourselves the fairy tale of our hatreds out of fear, but we revisit that tale as it suits us. Deep down, we'd love to love and be loved by all.
The man who tells the tale if he has a tale worth telling will know exactly what he is about and this business of the artist as a sort of starry-eyed inspired creature, dancing along, with his feet two or three feet above the surface of the earth, not really knowing what sort of prints he's leaving behind him, is nothing like the truth.
If you are tempted to reveal A tale to you someone has told About another, make it pass, Before you speak, three gates of gold; These narrow gates. First, "Is it true?" Then, "Is it needful?" In your mind Give truthful answer. And the next Is last and narrowest, "Is it kind?" And if to reach your lips at last It passes through these gateways three, Then you may tell the tale, nor fear What the result of speech may be.
When you've got a thing to say, Say it! Don't take half a day. When your tale's got little in it Crowd the whole thing in a minute! Life is short-a fleeting vapor- Don't you fill the whole blamed paper With a tale which, at a pinch, Could be cornered in an inch! Boil her down until she simmers, Polish her until she glimmers.
Joel Chandler Harris
Do you think if it was the fairy tale about a man who lived inside of a whale and it was religion that Jack built a beanstalk today, you would know the difference? Why do you believe in one fairy tale and not the other? Just because adults told you it was true and they scared you into believing it, at pain of death, at pain of burning in hell.
Stories are thick with meanings. You can fall in love with a story for what you think it says, but you can't know for certain where it will lead your listeners. If you're telling a tale to teach children to be generous, they may fix instead on the part where your hero hides in an olive jar, then spend the whole next day fighting about who gets to try it first. People take what they need from the stories they hear. The tale is often wiser than the teller.
Hollywood always represents this big dream and fairy tale in people's minds, but to me, it's just hard work. Of course, we play fairy tale on the red carpet. It's all Cinderella. But when the clock strikes midnight, I turn into a gray mouse and I go home, and I take my dress off and it's over. That's Hollywood.
All that's needed now is a great novel that will capture the imagination of the public - move them, enrage them, thrill them, terrify them, scandalize them. A story that will seize them by the hand and lead them into the streets where they've never dared set foot, a tale that throws back the sheets from acts never shown and voices never heard. A tale that fearlessly points the finger at those who are to blame...
He used to talk to me about Russia all the time and had sworn up and down that I'd love it here. "To you, it'd be like a fairy tale," he'd told me. "Sorry, comrade. Borg and out-of-date music aren't part of any happy ending I've ever imagined." "Borscht, not borg. And I've seen your appetite. If you were hungry enough, you'd eat it." "So starvation's necessary for this fairy tale to work out?
One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless. The tale is the map that is the territory. You must remember this.
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.
John C. Wright
One of my heroes, G.K. Chesterton, said, "The old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy; it is his adventures that are startling; they startle him because he is normal." Discovering that the modern world can still contain the wonder and strangeness of a fairy tale is part of what my novels are about.
Very often, I confess, the teller of dreams bores me. His dream could perhaps interest me if it were frankly worked on. But to hear a glorious tale of his insanity! I have not yet clarified, psychoanalytically, this boredom during the recital of other people's dreams. Perhaps I have retained the stiffness of a rationalist. I do not follow the tale of justified incoherence docilely. I always suspect that part of the stupidities being recounted are invented.
It has generally been assumed that fairy tales were first created for children and are largely the domain of children. But nothing could be further from the truth. From the very beginning, thousands of years ago, when tales were told to create communal bonds in face of the inexplicable forces of nature, to the present, when fairy tales are written and told to provide hope in a world seemingly on the brink of catastrophe, mature men and women have been the creators and cultivators of the fairy tale tradition. When introduced to fairy tales, children welcome them mainly because they nurture their great desire for change and independence. On the whole, the literary fairy tale has become an established genre within a process of Western civilization that cuts across all ages. Even though numerous critics and shamans have mystified and misinterpreted the fairy tale because of their spiritual quest for universal archetypes or their need to save the world through therapy, both the oral and the literary forms of the fairy tale are grounded in history: they emanate from specific struggles to humanize bestial and barbaric forces, which have terrorized our minds and communities in concrete ways, threatening to destroy free will and human compassion. The fairy tale sets out to conquer this concrete terror through metaphors.
You've heard tales of beauty and the beast. How a fair maid falls in love with a monster and sees the beauty of his soul beneath the hideous visage. But you've never heard the tale of the handsome man falling for the monstrous woman and finding joy in her love, because it doesn't happen, not even in a story-teller's tale.
To captivate our varied and worldwide audience of all ages, the nature and treatment of the fairy tale, the legend, the myth have to be elementary, simple. Good and evil, the antagonists of all great drama in some guise, must be believably personalized. The moral ideals common to all humanity must be upheld. The victories must not be too easy. Strife to test valor is still and will always be the basic ingredient of the animated tale, as of all screen entertainments.
Myth is a tale once believed as truth; believed, it is not myth, but religion. A tale once religiously believed that has come to be called a myth is something of religion corrupted with disbelief. What are beliefs for some societies but myths for others cannot fill spiritual vacancies in the life of those others.
Nabokov calls every great novel a fairy tale, I said. Well, I would agree. First, let me remind you that fairy tales abound with frightening witches who eat children and wicked stepmothers who poison their beautiful stepdaughters and weak fathers who leave their children behind in forests. But the magic comes from the power of good, that force which tells us we need not give in to the limitations and restrictions imposed on us by McFate, as Nabokov called it. Every fairy tale offers the potential to surpass present limits, so in a sense the fairy tale offers you freedoms that reality denies. In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance.
And that's how it is in this world, boy. Start a tale, just a little tale that should fade and die-take your eye off it for just a moment and when you turn back it's grown big enough to grab you up in its teeth and shake you. That's how it is. All our lives are tales. Some spread, and grow in the telling. Others are just told between us and the gods, muttered back and forth behind our days, but those tales grow too and shake us just as fierce.
The French fairy tale writers were so popular and prolific that when their stories were eventually collected in the 18th century, they filled forty-one volumes of a massive publication called the Cabinet des Fees. Charles Perrault is the French fairy tale writer whom history has singled out for attention, but the majority of tales in the Cabinet des Fees were penned by women writers who ran and attended the leading salons: Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy, Henriette Julie de Murat, Marie-Jeanne L'Heritier, and numerous others. These were educated women with an unusual degree of social and artistic independence, and within their use of the fairy tale form one can find distinctly subversive, even feminist subtext.
M. J. Putney's writing has always been magical; now that she has turned her hand to the telling of a fantasy tale, it sparkles on the page. Stolen Magic has to be one of the most delightful reads of the year, a witty, finely crafted tale that enchants from beginning to end. As always, Putney's intelligent wordsmithery, scholarship, eye for detail, and ability to bring to life irresistible characters add up to enjoyment on every page. Fast-moving and fun!
Victor Vigny: It is like the old fairy tale. The boy saves the princess; they fall in love. He invents a flying machine - along with his dashing teacher, of course. They get married and name thier firstborn after the aforementioned dashing teacher. Conor: I don't recall that fairy tale from the nursery. Victor Vigny: Trust me, It's a classic.
...the tale that's told for no other reason but companionship, which is another (and my favorite) definition of literature, the tale that's told for companionship and to teach something religious, of religious reverence, about real life, in this real world which literature should (and here does) reflect.
Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it - and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended - a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
So it ends as I guessed it would,' his thoughts said, even as it fluttered away; and it laughed a little within him ere it fled, almost gay it seemed to be casting off all doubt and care and fear. And even as it winged away into forgetfulness it heard voices, and they seemed to be crying in some forgotten world far above: 'The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!' For one moment more Pippin's thought hovered. "Bilbo! But no! That came in his tale, long long ago. This is my tale, and it ended now. Good-bye!' And his thought fled far away and his eyes saw no more.
J. R. R. Tolkien
Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.
After my film 'The Tale of Two Sisters,' I received a lot of offers from Hollywood to direct, but because 'A Tale of Two Sisters' was a horror film, I received a lot of horror films. But I wasn't interested in working in the same genre, and the scripts I received for films in different genres were for projects that were near completion.
Such is the passage, x. 14, where, after giving an account that the sun stood still upon Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, at the command of Joshua, (a tale only fit to amuse children). This tale of the sun standing still upon Motint Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, is one of those fables that detects itself. Such a circumstance could not have happened without being known all over the world. One half would have wondered why the sun did not rise, and the other why it did not set; and the tradition of it would be universal; whereas there is not a nation in the world that knows anything about it.
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.
Tolkien came to regard the tale of Beren and Tinuviel as 'the first example of the motive (to become dominant in Hobbits) that the great policies of world history, "the wheels of the world", are often turned not by the Lords and Governors, even gods, but by the seemingly unknown and weak'. Such a worldview is inherent in the fairy-tale (and Christian) idea of the happy ending in which the dispossessed are restored to joy; but perhaps Tolkien was also struck by the way it had been borne out in the Great War, when ordinary people stepped out of ordinary lives to carry the fate of nations.
we have, each of us, a story that is uniquely ours, a narrative arc that we can walk with purpose once we figure out what it is. It's the opposite to living our lives episodically, where each day is only tangentially connected to the next, where we are ourselves the only constants linking yesterday to tomorrow. There is nothing wrong with that, and I don't want to imply that there is by saying how much this shocked me - just that it felt so suddenly, painfully right to think that I have tapped into my Long Tale, that I have set my feet on the path I want to walk the rest of my life, and that it is a path of stories and writing and that no matter how many oceans I cross or how transient I feel in any given place, I am still on my Tale's Road, because having tapped it, having found it, the following is inevitable...
The life of the hero of the tale is, at the outset, overshadowed by bitter and hopeless struggles; one doubts that the little swineherd will ever be able to vanquish the awful Dragon with the twelve heads. And yet, ... truth and courage prevail and the youngest and most neglected son of the family, of the nation, of mankind, chops off all twelve heads of the Dragon, to the delight of our anxious hearts. This exultant victory, towards which the hero of the tale always strives, is the hope and trust of the peasantry and of all oppressed peoples. This hope helps them bear the burden of their destiny.
Perche a volte mi capitano dei momenti di una tale angoscia, di una tale angoscia... Perche in quei momenti gie inizia a sembrarmi che non sare² mai capace di cominciare a vivere una vera vita; perche ho gie avuto l'impressione di aver perso ogni misura, ogni senso della realte , della autenticite.