Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Dark Forest of Childhood by Laurel Snyder

From The dark forest of childhood: Modern fairy tales return to their roots by Laurel Snyder for The Boston Globe:

My own sense of what a fairy tale is is linked to my own sense of what a child is, and that has been part of an experiment we call the 20th-century middle-class democracy. The golden age that followed the advent of child labor laws and the creation of mass public education. The post-war years of financial growth and the miracle of penicillin. The mythological years of prosperity and an inevitable cure for every ailment. Years full of happy fairies, bright colors, princesses of a merry sort. The decades of Disney.

Maybe, I thought, I’m the one whose childhood was defined by a fad, a trend — the trend of the midcentury American fairy tale. Maybe mature fairy tales are the norm, and these new books, with their retold teen mermaids and Goose Girls, are closer to the intent of our original fairy tellers. Different in style, but not in substance. Just as little girls today are pushed into womanhood by shameless advertising, skimpy clothes, unemployed parents, and a rising tide of homelessness, so were our great-great-grandmothers pushed into their womanhoods at a tender age.

The article itself is two pages and quite interesting with the author's perspectives changing with her experiences, so read it all. I don't have the time at this moment to share my thoughts, but I had to share the article while its fresh.

And thanks Anne for sharing the link!

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