I have followed the talented & brilliant Joanne Harris (most well known for Authoring “Chocolat”) on Twitter for a while now – her insights into Writing, Storytelling, mystery and all around general Wisdom have been a personal Blessing. I highly recommend everyone I know to follow her. (@Joannechocolat on twitter)
One of the great things she does is a semi-regular post of ten tweets, so Ten Tweets on what it’s like to be a writer, or ten tweets on lots of other cool and random subjects, not always related to writing. A very recent “Ten Tweets on..” was all about Fairytales. It was all pretty much what I want to share about stories and fairytales, summed up what I deeply know and believe about stories and fairytales and sums up what I wanted to say (in a much better way than I could ever say it) for this year’s National Storytelling Week.
So, here in list form are Joanne’s Ten Tweets on Fairytales (with a couple of interjections and replies to tweets thrown in)
1. Fairytales have been around for many thousands of years, and exist in every culture
2. Jung believed they were an expression of the collective unconscious..
2 (b): …which would explain why so many stories are shared by cultures existing too far apart ever to have met
Ubiquitous wicked stepmothers a reminder that 1 in 5 women died in childbirth- reconstituted families common.
3. Nowadays, some people dismiss fairytales as childish or irrelevant. They are not; and never were.
4. Fairytales were originally meant for adults, not children. Their themes were often very dark
5. Fairytales were first designed for adults with bleak & challenging lives: they were a way of dealing with that
6. They were a means of expressing feelings that couldn’t be expressed in any way except through metaphor
6 (b): …the fear of death, the horrors of incest, abandonment, violence, hunger and the darkness inside us all
Life is always (potentially) worse. Stories give children (and adults) coping mechanisms, and the hope of a happy ending.
7. They were meant to give us hope that evil can be defeated; obstacles overcome; monsters redeemed by love
8. They don’t deal with “reality”, but as an expression of our subconscious selves, they reveal important truths.
9. They are the collective dreams of our race: through these stories, we tell our own
10. And by looking at the stories told by other cultures, we can understand how much we share.