Click here to visit CBC's Q podcast page (February 5th, 2009).
As you can imagine, as a storyteller, I was pleased, relieved, and excited to hear such talk. Too many people in our North American society regard fairy tales, fables, and myths as only frivolous entertainment. Because they are not literally true, they are (at best) a distraction and (at worst) contain no useful information or serve no constructive purpose.
At the beginning of Gaiman's Coraline, he presents the following quotation:
“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”Here's part of what Gaiman had to say about that quote:
G. K. Chesterton
I think what I love about that is that it talks about what you are taking away with you from a fairy tale, and what the real morals are, and what functions these things serve. And Chesterton wrote this wonderful essay in which he talks about fairy tales and he says:It's important for kids to be taught that, but it's even more important for adults to be reminded of that. Our lives are filled with beasts, but known and unknown. Myth reminds us that we can beat our dragons if we take a stand, hold our own, and allow our courage to fuel our actions.
"They do not tell children that there is a bogeyman out there. Children know that there is a bogeyman out there. They know that there are monsters out there. They know that there are dangerous things. What is important is to tell them that the bad thing can be beaten."
In this way, stories can inspire us to move forward, take risks, and enjoy our victories. I hope as you visit this site, and when you can, come see a show, that you find inspiration in the adventures of our heroes as they face their challenges.