Understanding On Fairy-Stories

Learn why fantasy (fairy) stories are a peculiarly unique art form where magical new worlds are created that provide glimpses of Eternal Truth.

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On March 8, 1939, Tolkien presented a lecture entitled “Fairy Stories” where he discusses how fantasy stories (as we would call them today) are perhaps the most significant art form because of how completely it can affect the reader who experiences that world.

Published multiple times since then, On Fairy-Stories is a deep, thoughtful, and sometimes challenging essay that tries to convey how important these kinds of stories are to humanity.

They are important not just because they offer escape (not escape as you might think) and recovery, but because they provide the most moving and visceral experiences of Eternal Truth through Eucatastrophes (the “sudden joyous turn”) that reveal “a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth.”

Join us in our podcast as we delve into this essay!

 

Understand On Fairy-Stories in 6 Episodes

In these 6 episodes, we discussed On Fairy-Stories, finding our way through this dense, thought-provoking, but incredibly rewarding look at what makes tales like Tolkien’s so engrossing, so touching, and so REAL to us.

You can also subscribe to our podcast, Exploring Tolkien — just look for “Exploring Tolkien” on any podcast app!

Part 1 : What is a Fairy-Story?

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Part 2 : The Origins of Fantasy

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Part 3 : It’s Not for Children

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Part 4 : Fantasy is Not Imagination

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Part 5 : Recovery and Escape

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Part 6 : Consolation and Eucatastrophe

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