Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A comforting thought

Justin Taylor posts "On Scary Stories and the Moral Imagination," quoting first G.K. Chesterton:
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
And then Andrew Peterson, an author of children's books:
...[T]he storyteller has to be honest. He has to acknowledge that sometimes when the hall light goes out and the bedroom goes dark, the world is a scary place. He has to nod his head to the presence of all the sadness in the world.... He has to admit that sometimes characters make bad choices, because every child has seen their parent angry or irritable or deceitful—even the best people in our lives are capable of evil.

But of course the storyteller can’t stop there. He has to show in the end there is a Great Good in the world (and beyond it). Sometimes it is necessary to paint the sky black in order to show how beautiful is the prick of light. Gather all the wickedness in the universe into its loudest shriek and God hears it as a squeak at best. And that is a comforting thought. .... [more]
As Gandalf tells Frodo deep in the Mines of Moria: "You were meant to have the Ring…And that is a comforting thought."

On Scary Stories and the Moral Imagination – Justin Taylor