Fairy Tales My Father Never Told Me by Dimitra Nikolaidou

Dimitra Nikolaidou, whose interview we recently showcased, blogs over at the Transmundane Press site with “Fairy Tales My Father Never Told Me”

Transmundane Press

“Why won’t you read me Cinderella?”

“I have another story, one you’ve never heard…”

Long after I had learned to read myself and stopped requesting bedtime stories, my dad let slip the reason he never bought me Cinderella or Snow White or any other classic fairy tale: he was angered by the fact that the story taught girls to wait around for a prince instead of taking their fate into their own hands. Mind you, this was decades ago, when the term political correctness had not been coined yet, and I remember looking up at him in surprise. After all, all children had Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty read to them, right?

Bruno Bettelheim in The Uses of Enchantment suggests that fairy tales were always used to help children and adolescents transition into adulthood: an idea, a lesson, a rule, can be imparted much more…

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