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Boys like romantic [fairy] tales; but babies like realistic tales - because they find them romantic...This proves that even nursery tales only echo an almost prenatal leap of interest and amazement. These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until the 19th century.
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Fairy tales have always been about getting through the worst of everything, the darkest and the deepest and the bloodiest of events. They are about surviving, and what you look like when you emerge from the trial. The reason we keep telling fairy tales over and over, that we need to keep telling them, is that the trials change. So the stories change too, and the heroines and villains and magical objects, to keep them true. Fairy tales are the closets where the world keeps its skeletons.
Catherynne M. Valente
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Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.
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This is not the way these tales end, " Calliope said firmly. "This is not the way that things end when they get to be tales, " Amatus said, "but since ours is not yet told, we cannot count on it. There were a hundred dead princes on the thorns outside Sleeping Beauty's castle, and I'm sure many of them were splendid fellows.
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A parent who from his own childhood experience is convinced of the value of fairy tales will have no difficulty in answering his child's questions; but an adult who thinks these tales are only a bunch of lies had better not try telling them; he won't be able to related them in a way which would enrich the child's life.
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For most of human history, 'literature,' both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written "" heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.
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For most of human history, 'literature, ' both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written - heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.
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To young men contemplating a voyage I would say go. The tales of rough usage are for the most part exaggerations, as also are the tales of sea danger. To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that it was made to be sailed over.
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I have been writing fairy tales for as long as I can remember. Not much has changed in terms of my natural attraction to the narrative techniques of fairy tales. My appreciation of them in the traditional stories has deepened, especially of flat and unadorned language, intuitive logic, abstraction, and everyday magic.
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Past and future are the same, and we cannot change either, only know them more fully. My journey to the past had changed nothing, but what I had learned had changed everything, and I understood that it could not have been otherwise. If our lives are tales that Allah tells, then we are the audience as well as the players, and it is by living these tales that we receive their lessons.
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When our ancestors crouched about the camp fire at night, they told each other tales of gods and heroes, monsters and marvels, to hold back the terrors of the night. Such tales comforted and entertained, diverted and educated those who listened, and helped shape their sense of the world and their place in it.
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My mother had comforted me with tales ever since I was small. Sometimes they helped me peel a problem like an onion, or gave me ideas about what to do; other times, they calmed me so much that I would fall into a soothing sleep. My father used to say that her tales were better than the best medicine. Sighing, I burrowed into my mother's body like a child, knowing that the sound of her voice would be a balm on my heart.
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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
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I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.
C. S. Lewis
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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.
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To me God's voice and inspiration is stronger, of greater importance and authority than that of any fairy or any other spirit like creature from above or below earth. My Spirit Tales are stories based on truth and inspired by His writings. Stories about YHWH and His great wonderful acts are definitely not fairytales but Spirit Tales.
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Soon enough his head would be swimming with tales of derring-do and high adventure, tales of beautiful maidens kissed, of evildoers shot with pistols or fought with swords, of bags of gold, of diamonds as big as the tip of your thumb, of lost cities and of vast mountains, of steam-trains and clipper ships, of pampas, oceans, deserts, tundra.
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I love monsters, I love creatures, I love beings, I love aliens. That's more supernatural and more the stuff of fairy tales. Fairy tales are as ancient as we are. I love those stories. I think they're really interesting because they always have more than simply the fright aspect. There's something deeply psychological.
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I don't have any big adventures." "But of course you have big adventures, " Papa said. You have adventures of all sorts, all the time." "Not like Radish in the Book of Tales, " Geraldine said, scuffing a toe along the ground. "I could never be like Radish." "No, you don't have adventures exactly like Radish, " Papa said. "But that's because you're not Radish and you must have your own adventures. All creatures must." "Happy ones?" Geraldine asked. "In the end, yes. But they won't all seem that way at first. They'll have unexpected twists and turns. You must let them play out to the end, like a story in the Book of Tales. Follow God, speak to him and listen to him, and all tales will be beautiful in their time.
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even nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement. These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.
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Okay. I wish for world peace," Weetzie said. "I am sorry," the genie said. "I cant grant that wish. Its out of my league." "Then I wish for an infinite number of wishes!" Those people on fairy tales never thought of that. "People in fairy tales wish for that all the time," the genie said. "They arent stupid. It just isnt in the records because I cant grant that type of wish.
Francesca Lia Block
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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.
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When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.
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Simon?' 'Yeah?' 'Can you tell me a story?' He blinked. 'What kind of story?' 'Something where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. A nd stay dead.' 'So, like a fairy tale?' he said. He racked his brain. He knew only the Disney versions of fairy tales, and the first knew only the Disney versions of fairy tales, and the first image that came to mind was A riel in her seashell bra. He'd had a crush on her when he was eight. Not that this seemed like the time to mention it. 'No.' The word was an exhaled breath. 'We study fairy tales in school. A lot of that magic is real-but, anyway. No, I want something I haven't heard yet.' 'Okay. I've got a good one.' Simon stroked Isabelle's hair, feeling her lashes flutter against his neck as she closed her eyes. 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
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Bound souls. He had always thought the stories of men and women bound throughout all eternity by the strength of passion, either love or hate, were but pleasant tales for long winter's nights. Bound souls, two sides of the same counter, together through all the lives of the souls, and forever before and afterward. But he recognized the woman just as surely as she recognized him, and he knew the tales were true.
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The idea of fairyland fascinates me because it's one of those things, like mermaids and dragons, that doesn't really exist, but everyone knows about it anyway. Fairyland lies only in the eye of the beholder who is usually a fabricator of fantasy. So what good is it, this enchanted, fickle land which in some tales bodes little good to humans and, in others, is the land of peace and perpetual summer where everyone longs to be? Perhaps it's just a glimpse of our deepest wishes and greatest fears, the farthest boundaries of our imaginations. We go there because we can; we come back because we must. What we see there becomes our tales.
Patricia A. McKillip
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Myths, as compared with folk tales, are usually in a special category of seriousness: they are believed to have "really happened,"or to have some exceptional significance in explaining certain features of life, such as ritual. Again, whereas folk tales simply interchange motifs and develop variants, myths show an odd tendency to stick together and build up bigger structures. We have creation myths, fall and flood myths, metamorphose and dying-god myths.
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We can never stop searching for Heaven, since there is always more of it than we can see. There, as in those tales that evolve endlessly into other tales, stories have no end. They are hardly ever the stories you know, the official ones, in which wishes are made formal, then legislated and enforced as matters of life or death. They are more often the stories we didn't hear, or wouldn't believe, told by the person we ignored, the house that was razed, the choir of dry bones. The scholars of Heaven read and study the vast collection of ashes, books from the torched libraries.
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These stories were very old, as old as people, and they had survived because they were very powerful indeed. They were the tales that echoed in the head long after the books that contained them were cast aside. They were both an escape from reality and an alternative reality themselves. They were so old, and so strange, that they had found a kind of existence independent of the pages they occupied. The world of the old tales existed parallel to ours, but sometimes the walls separating the two became so thing and brittle that the two worlds started to blend into each other. That was when the trouble started. That was when the bad things came. That was when the Crooked Man began to appear to David.
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Creators of literary fairy tales from the 17th-century onward include writers whose works are still widely read today: Charles Perrault (17th-century France), Hans Christian Andersen (19th-century Denmark), George Macdonald and Oscar Wilde (19th-century England). The Brothers Grimm (19th-century Germany) blurred the line between oral and literary tales by presenting their German "household tales" as though they came straight from the mouths of peasants, though in fact they revised these stories to better reflect their own Protestant ethics. It is interesting to note that these canonized writers are all men, since this is a reversal from the oral storytelling tradition, historically dominated by women. Indeed, Straparola, Basile, Perrault, and even the Brothers Grimm made no secret of the fact that their source material came largely or entirely from women storytellers. Yet we are left with the impression that women dropped out of the history of fairy tales once they became a literary form, existing only in the background as an anonymous old peasant called Mother Goose.
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She'd grown up hearing about epic battles between Guardians and demons, of legendary Wardens and their brave fight to keep the nocturnis at bay. To her, it all had the air of fairy tales, history through the lens of the Brothers Grimm. She listened to the tales the same way she listened to Beowulf, and had the same expectation of ever featuring in one of those famous battles as of facing Grendel's mother in a Scandinavian swamp. Yet here she was, not just fighting the forces of evil but somehow tied to her very own Guardian, acting for all intents and purposes like the Warden she had once dreamed of becoming.
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Only hinted at in some of these tales, and clearly stated in others, it is apparent that there was a long and continuing conflict between paganism and Christianity in the early centuries A.D. This may also be the explanation behind other well creation tales, such as the slaying by St Barry of a 'great serpent' in County Roscommon. The saint thrust his crozier at it before it disappeared into Lough Lagan, and where his knee touched the ground, a holy well, Tobar Barry, sprang up. Although the serpent may represent paganism, and the saint's victory is therefore the victory of Christianity over paganism, we cannot entirely ignore the possibility that some of the serpents in similar Irish tales may have been real water monsters, which are still seen from time to time in the lakes of Ireland and Scotland. These eerie, ugly monsters, with their aura of primeval mystery, appropriately symbolize the uncouth savagery which the Christians attributed to all non-Christian beliefs; but that is not to say that the monsters were totally symbolic and did not have a reality of their own.
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You're in a terrible spot. It's too late for you to retreat but too soon to act. All you can do is witness. You're in the miserable position of an infant who cannot return to the mother's womb, but neither can he run around and act. All an infant can do is witness and listen to the stupendous tales of action being told to him. You are at that precise point now. You cannot go back to the womb of your old world, but you cannot act with power either. For you there is only witnessing acts of power and listening to tales of power.
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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.
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I think people should take mythology much more seriously, because it tells us an awful lot about the history of the human race. We tend to dismiss it as 'fairy tales, ' when it isn't. Fairy tales in themselves are about fundamentals of human nature. And they keep being reinvented in different ways. Fantasy acknowledges that, whereas a lot of modern literature is trying to distance itself from 'story, ' never mind anything else. Which is why a lot of books are read by the critics, then people buy them, put them on their shelves, and don't really read them much, because they're not very interesting!
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Legends of the Silver Stallion had been told for years now, whenever mountain stockmen met round the campfires or on the winding hill tracks. Songs were sung about him to the cattle and both songs and tales had become even stranger since his supposed death when he vanished through the wind and the night over a great cliff. Tales kept cropping up of a ghost horse seen, or imagined, roaming over the mountains at night, of stockmen waking in a hut at midnight, hearing the tremendous stallion's cry which could only be Thowra's
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Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
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A kid thinking about fairy tales and believing in fairy tales Acts like a sick god, but like a god. Because even though he affirms that what doesn't exist exists, He knows things exist, that he exists, He knows existing exists and doesn't explain itself, And he knows there's no reason at all for anything to exist. He knows being is the point. All he doesn't know is that thought isn't the point. (10/1/1917)
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Chaucer's world in The Canterbury Tales brings together, for the first time, a diversity of characters, social levels, attitudes, and ways of life. The tales themselves make use of a similarly wide range of forms and styles, which show the diversity of cultural influences which the author had at his disposal. Literature, with Chaucer, has taken on a new role: as well as affirming a developing language, it is a mirror of its times - but a mirror which teases as it reveals, which questions while it narrates, and which opens up a range of issues and questions, instead of providing simple, easy answers.
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I would travel far and wide... seeing, listening, creating. I would weave tales for an enthralled audience. A song would be heard throughout the kingdom, and I would be a part of that. You would normally think that a bard would pick up his tales from stories heard in his travels or, perhaps, from personal observation of these events. Perhaps some bards would create the stories themselves or, at least, adapt the original versions heard... But what if the bard were really more than a bard? What if he were once a gallant knight or an old sea captain... perhaps even a forgotten prince? What if the stories he told, what if the characters brought to life in his stories, were really of his comrades and himself? Stories from long ago that he finally wished to be heard? What if those who listened to his tales, all the while assuming that they were far disconnected from their communicator, were really listening to the narrative of a wanderer intimately connected to it all? And where would such an individual go when his final days as an 'official' bard were spent? Perhaps he would decide to retire in a lighthouse. For, surely, no place would be more fitting for the hero emeritus. He would gaze upon the glorious sea in recollection... guiding others with the beacon of light atop his home as he had once been shepherded. The adventurer became the storyteller... and then the Sentinel of the Sea.
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The wise old fairy tales never were so silly as to say that the prince and the princess lived peacefully ever afterwards. The fairy tales said that the prince and princess lived happily ever afterwards; and so they did. They lived happily, although it is very likely that from time to time they threw the furniture at each other.
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What I corrupted was what is called the truth in favour of a more marvelous world. I could always improve on the facts. [... ] in self-defense, I accuse the writers of fairy-tales. Not hunger, not cruelty, not my parents, but these tales which promised that sleeping in the snow never caused pneumonia, that bread never turned stale, that trees blossomed out of season, that dragons could be killed with courage, that intense wishing would be followed immediately by fulfillment of the wish. Intrepid wishing, said the fairytales, was more effective than labor. The smoke issuing from Aladdin's lamp was my first smokescreen, and the lies learned from fairytales were my first perjuries. Let us say I had perverted tendencies: I believed everything I read.
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Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper 'One more time' in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.
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My friend Oscar is one of those princes without kingdom who wander around hoping you'll kiss them so they won't turn into frogs. He gets everything back to front and that's why I like him. People who think they get everything right do things wrong, and this, coming from a left-handed person, says it all. He looks at me and thinks I don't see him. he imagines I'll evaporate if he touches me and if he doesn't touch me, then he'll evaporate. He's got me on such a high pedestal he doesn't know how to get up there. He thinks my lips are door to paradise, but doesn't know they are poisoned. I am such a coward that I don't tell him so as not to lose him. I pretend I don't see him, and that I am, indeed, going to evaporate... My friend Oscar is one of those princes who would be well advised to stay away from fairy tales and the princesses who inhabit them. He doesn't know he's really Prince Charming who must kiss Sleeping Beauty in order to wake her from her eternal sleep, but that's because Oscar doesn't know that fairy tales are lies, although not all lies are fairy tales. Princes aren't charming, and sleeping beauties, however beautiful, never wake up from their sleep. He's the best friend I've ever had and if I ever come across Merlin, I'll thank him for having placed him in my path.
-Marina ; Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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William Shakespeare was the most remarkable storyteller that the world has ever known. Homer told of adventure and men at war, Sophocles and Tolstoy told of tragedies and of people in trouble. Terence and Mark Twain told cosmic stories, Dickens told melodramatic ones, Plutarch told histories and Hans Christian Andersen told fairy tales. But Shakespeare told every kind of story "" comedy, tragedy, history, melodrama, adventure, love stories and fairy tales "" and each of them so well that they have become immortal. In all the world of storytelling he has become the greatest name.
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What is literature but the expression of moods by the vehicle of symbol and incident? And are there not moods which need heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland for their expression, no less than this dilapidated earth? Nay, are there not moods which shall find no expression unless there be men who dare to mix heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland together, or even to set the heads of beasts to the bodies of men, or to thrust the souls of men into the heart of rocks? Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet." (A Teller of Tales)
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Fairy tales for adult readers remained popular throughout Europe well into the 19th century - particularly in Germany, where the Brothers Grimm published their massive collection of German fairy tales (revised and edited to reflect the Brothers' patriotic and patriarchal ideals), providing inpiration for novelists, poets, and playrights among the German Romantics. Recently, fairy tale scholars have re-discovered the enormous body of work produced by women writers associated with the German Romantics: Grisela von Arnim, Sophie Tieck Bernhardi, Karoline von Ge¼nderrode, Julie Berger, and Sophie Albrecht, to name just a few.
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