Fairy Tales and Fantasy

Jared (in theory) loves fantasy novels, but he never seems to be able to find any that he can just relax into, without criticizing. I blame his taste and his imagination.

We read a lot of non-fiction in our home. I devour it, usually reading a few books at once and often going back to favorites. I do enjoy some occasional fiction. I would love to read more novels though. And I hope I don’t sound like a book snob–I’m far from that. Books, however, are our prime entertainment, and one of our absolute favorite things, so we’re picky.

If I had discovered fantasy novels as a child I would have read hundreds of more books. I enjoyed random novels as a young girl, and I’m pretty sure I had a love for fairy tales. As a pre-teen I dove into ghost stories and science fiction, and I was beginning college when I discovered my love for mythology, folklore, and fairylore. It wasn’t (unbelievably) until I met Jared that I read my first fantasy novel (The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley), and ever since I’ve wanted to find more.

The Mysts of Avalon

Jared picked up “Clash of Kings” the other day, and a copy of “The Lord of the Rings.” He’s read them before, and he’s trying once again. The only fantasy books he’s ever really been able to condone, however, are several by Ursula K. Le Guin, although not without reservations. He wants something like “The Lord of the Rings” but written as well as “A Hundred Years of Solitude,” the latter a stellar “fantasy” book he says, in a manner of speaking.

I need a break from the non-fiction. He’s reading to me at night now (when it works out with our wild little co-sleeping toddler), and I have another Marion Zimmer Bradley book I’m reading on the side. I can imagine the stories–the fairy tales–that we’ll be reading to, and telling, Fae.

Einstein Quote on Fairy Tales

I want to encourage fairy tales and fantasy with my children. I always assumed that I would. It just feels so much a part of our family. And having found out that fairy tales are so highly valued in the Waldorf tradition, along with imaginative (fantastical) play, I feel even more confident of their value. I want Fae to explore her imagination, and be able to use it in order to make sense of the world as it unfolds around her. Maybe I’ll finally get into the habit of consistently reading novels once Fae is reading too (something that I’m also not going to rush–sticking to the Waldorf style).

Fae and Daddy are talking about the ducks that we saw yesterday at the pond.

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