jasonsteinfairytales

Finito with the Fairies

May 5, 2012
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After reading all of my blog posts in reverse order, I realized that (1) I must have been on some kind of drug when writing half of them and (2) I have finally figured out how to apply my skills to subjects and thematic material with which I am completely unfamiliar. I really was clueless about fairytales at the beginning of this course, but now I am able to digest all of these little stories by picking out the overarching themes that appear throughout most fairytales (since I am now aware of a growing canon of stories) and then spending the rest of the time playing devil’s advocate to every analysis I read or hear about regarding the stories. I find that the first few readings threw me off track because I was not able to figure out my comfort zone of reading and analyzing text: was I too formal, not imaginative enough, looking for the wrong themes, pretending to see something that is not there, etc? But after a while everything just clicked, and I was able to go off on the wildest tangents of thought because I related the stories to subjects with which I am more familiar, like psychology {Jung/Freud, the mind and collective unconscious), and then by playing devil’s advocate I was able to see the entire spectrum of analysis. Thus, I found ways to challenge myself in the readings as well as adapt to the new material by finding ways to analyze the text using more familiar methods. 

Unlike some individuals in the class, I always read the works and took little notes in the margins. And it was this meticulousness that really gave me the upper edge in being able to discuss the topics brought up in class. Writing something down every few sentences allowed me to more or less memorize the plot sequences occurring in the stories, allowing me to then have a base for analysis when called on. 

And I keep having to remind myself that three months ago fairytales, to me at least, were some bogus child-rearing articles that derailed children’s normal intellectual gains. And now I cannot help but think the opposite, having seen myself, in a time between childhood and adulthood, grow from these tales. Not that I need more moral support or anything like that, but these tales really do mean something to everybody, and it is that individuality to fairytales that makes me believe in them and in myself, having taken this course. Obviously a great decision. Thank you.

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