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Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Have Courage and Be Kind."

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”   Albert Einstein

There is a wonderful review of Cinderella at The Catholic Thing. I'm eager to see it and take along several grandchildren as well. In a collapsing world, it is lovely to think of a film that, according to critic Daniel McInerny, defends what is good and beautiful and looks to be fun as well:
The fairy tale is one of the most important and perennially popular of literary genres, for children and grownups alike, because fairy tales are about adventures into what we might call “the golden world,” a world in which innocence must be fought for and achieved. 
By “golden world” I do not mean an idyllic world. Fairy tales often spirit their protagonists away into other lands and even other dimensions of time and space, but these new territories are places not of peace but of peril. Witches, monsters, villains of all kinds abound.

So why do I call such places “golden worlds”? Because they are places, arenas, where good must face its opportunity to overcome evil. As G.K. Chesterton famously puts the point: “Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” 
I never thought of Cinderella as a Christian allegory, but McInerny makes some wonderful points that surely fit that view: the idyllic world before Cinderella's parents die, Cinderella fallen into the bleak world among the ashes, the prince an image of the bridegroom. It certainly bears thinking about.

So I'm putting Cinderella on my calendar. If you see it, let me know what you think about it. I'll post my own review later.

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