Monday, March 24, 2008

Once Upon A Time: Book of the Week

Okay, so it's not exactly a singular picture book. This week the book of the week is classic fairy tales and many of their modern updates. The phrase 'once upon a time' is timeless and enters into the bedrooms of every child as they are whisked off to sleep by princes and dragons. I have my favorite fairy tales. I have always liked the story of Hansel and Gretel as they conquer over the evil witch. Rumpelstiltskin always entertained me, something about finding the right name that I always identified with. Fairy tales have the power to evoke the soul and unconscious of all people and that is probably why they have endured for so long.

My inquiry into fairy tales started in the fall. I am a fan of Bruno Bettelheim. I started reading Uses of Enchantment while working on a larger piece of work on the therapeutic nature of books. My copy is worn and my Grimm's fairy tales covered with notes. The psychoanalytical nature of something I know to be loved by so many was fascinating. I was shocked and intrigued to learn that The Brothers Grimm accumulated their stories from the German folks people. The stories are from the masses, reworked into masterpieces, and to the masses. I could go on forever and a day about the collective unconscious, archetypes, psychoanalysis, and what that magical kingdom represents, but I'm pretty sure that is not the content that blogs are made of. Here is the gist, fairy tales are personal and often therapeutic. They have conquered the test of time and now are an embedded part of culture. A child's first introduction might be a singing animated princess but there is so much more they will soon discover. So while 'once upon a time' starts the journal that other magic phrase 'the end' is far far far down the road.

No comments: