Zipes, Chapter 2 reading

Chapter 2 – The Evolution and dissemination of the classical fairytale

The main point that I took out from this chapter is that fairy tales, wonder tales, and tales in all their various forms have existed for thousands of years, and that they existed as oral tales before being recorded as a literary text. It seems that the origin of these tales a thousand years ago is unknown, no one knows who told those tales, nor why and how they told them, however, a common thread with tales are that they reflect rituals, personal and public experiences, beliefs amongst other aspects important in one’s life.

The interesting part about the nature of tales is their ability to transform and change depending on what the purpose of telling them was, as well as what the purpose of writing them down on paper was. This dynamic aspect of tales is fascinating because it demonstrates the ability of people in re-appropriating tales for themselves and using their own words to turn them into a different story. These stories can survive through the ages depending solely on the memory of the audience, which suggests that the tales that are passed on generations to generations have probably changed a million times to become those that we know of today.

Another point that the text mentioned, which I thought was important, was that tales are “proof” of the fantasies of humankind. In my understanding, this shows that humans are creative, and they can dream and create a world where miracles happen. This ability to be creative, to invent and tell tales, makes humans special and different from any other species on the planet. Fairy tales and its evolution in different countries, forms (fold, wonder tales, conte de fee), written by both males and females, and fairy tales today still exhibit common symbols as well as effects on the audience: they help us feel fulfilled, and they connect the people of various parts of the world together. In our interest to learn and hear news that come from faraway places, tales passed on from place to place show the power of word of mouth, and the need for humans to be social beings.

In looking back at the text, it seemed to me that everyone has the ability to tell tales. However, in previous readings assigned in class, there seemed to be a special way to tell tales and they placed importance on the role of the tale teller. I believe that there is no right way to tell a tale and that everyone has the ability to do so. This is the magic of tales, because from one story is born innumerable versions spontaneously.

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