Greetings Fanpeople! It’s Adrianna, lover of all things odd. As you may have already guessed through more than half of the posts I write are about strange, silly, whimsical things.
So today’s post is kind of like a continuation from day E of the A to Z challenge on fairy tales. (Click here for post)
Today we’re talking about the ingenious take on fairy tales that has less to do with morals and more to do with fun. Now, obviously we can take a good microscope to see all the metaphors, philosophical ideas, and underlining themes in these works. But really the beauty is in the absurdity. In the imagination. And the childlike courage it takes to do this unapologetically.
L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, wrote in his forward to the story that:
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz ” was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to be a modernized fairy tale, in which wonderment and joy are retained and the heartache and nightmares are left out.
He writes of how Fairy Tales had gone from things of sheer wonder and amazement to horrifying cautionary tales. Stuffed with morals, and trying to teach kids about social rules and conduct. (Take a look at kids shows nowadays for a good example. Tell me which tell actual stories and which work as mini lessons to teach children how to behave.)
This certainly isn’t a bad thing; lessons are needed. It is only when those lessons take forefront from story telling that you lose originality and wonder. A good story will have those lessons hidden in them anyway. Simply because you can learn a lot about how to interact by reading of characters, you learn with the characters anyway.
And if you take away to agenda and actually write, then it becomes real. Remember the post about Dr. Seuss? Well, I can’t vouch for the way he wrote stories. But the lessons never took over. If they did, the bright fun illustrations and wonderful rhymes would have taken the backseat. Imagine the injustice that would have done to the world if he had sought too hard to put out educational material.
Even amazing stories, full of allegories and tons of hidden messages, such as Narnia, still focus on the story. And because of this provides readers with an amazing world and characters, who don’t preach about what’s right and wrong, but invite you to learn with them.
And in the words of C.S Lewis himself:
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest”
So all you writers out there: embrace the story! Or maybe like Lewis Carroll, Embrace the madness. No matter how crazy, off the beaten path, or even seemingly cliche your story is, keep going. And don’t focus too long on things that take away from your story.
” Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” ~ C. S. Lewis
So, I think there are great things to be learned from these stories rife with originality and in some instances: Utter Nonsense.
Til Next time Fanpeople!