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Kevin P. Dincher
The Uses of Enchantment:  The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

Modern Americans have an ambivalent relationship with fairy tales.  We either water them down with Disney cuteness
and steer clear of them as too frightening for young children. But before Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm published their
first collection of folk tales,
Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), in 1812, fairy tales were
not thought of as stories for children.  They were stories told by adults for adults and were the chief form of
wintertime entertainment.

Storytelling, however, is never simply passive activities.  Those who study myths, dreams and the symbolic aspects
of human thought know that there is a powerful dynamic that takes place in the process of telling and listening to
stories. Some cultures even trained their physicians in the art of storytelling as a tool for psychic and emotional

The Uses of Enchantment uses both well-known and less know fairy tales to explore:
  • The nature and history of fairy tales
  • The work of the Grimm Brothers
  • The psychological theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and their use to interpret the deeper meaning of
    fairy tales.
A fun and easy way to learn about major psychological theories through the stories we remember from childhood!
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