On Fairy-Stories is an essay written by J. R. R. Tolkien that was published as a book.
Tolkien originally wrote the essay in 1939 for his lecture on the subject of Fairly Tales in general to an audience at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Afterwards, it was first published within Essays Presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was then subsequently published with Leaf by Niggle in Tree and Leaf as well as in The Tolkien Reader, around 1966. It has since been renewed as an Expanded edition (pictured right), edited by Tolkien scholars Verlyn Flieger and Douglas Anderson, in 2008.
The essay contains Tolkien's explanation of his philosophy on fantasy and on "faerie", and thoughts on the crafting of the mythos.
Tolkien named the genre Fairy Stories, which he carefully distinguishes from actual "Fairy Tales". This distinction seems to be twofold. First, he defines fairy stories as not stories about fairies or other supernatural beings, but stories about the interaction between humans and those beings. Second, he emphasizes that through the use of fantasy, which he equates with fancy and imagination, the author can bring the reader to experience a world which is consistent and rational, yet utterly strange as well. He calls this "a rare achievement of Art", and notes that it was important to him as a reader: "It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine."
Having defined the genre, Tolkien goes on to defend its utility on three grounds. First, suggesting that fairy stories allow the reader to review his or her own world from the "perspective" of a different world. This concept, which shares much in common with cultural relativism, Tolkien calls "recovery", in the sense that one's unquestioned assumptions might be recovered and changed by an outside perspective. Second, he defends fairy stories as offering escapist pleasure to the reader. And third, Tolkien suggests that fairy stories (can) provide moral or emotional consolation, through their happy ending, which he terms a "eucatastrophe".
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Amharic||የተረት ታሪኮች ላይ|
|Arabic||على خرافية قصص|
|Armenian||Օգտվողի հեքիաթային պատմություններ|
|Bengali||পরী গল্প উপর|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||На фея-разкази|
|Catalan||Sobre els Contes de Fades|
|Filipino||Tungkol sa kuwento ng diwata|
|French||Du conte de fées|
|Galician||Sobre Contos de Fadas|
|Hindi||बारे में परियों की कहानियों|
|Irish Gaelic||Ar Sióg-Scéalta|
|Kazakh Cyrillic||әңгімелер фея туралы|
|Korean||동화 스토리 소개|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||На бајка приказни|
|Marathi||सुंदर कथा बद्दल ?|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Үлгэр түүхүүд нд|
|Nepalese||परी कथाहरू बारेमा|
|Persian||درباره داستان پری|
|Portuguese||Sobre Histórias de Fadas|
|Scottish Gaelic||Mu Sìthiche-Sgeulachdan|
|Serbian||На Фаири-Сториес (Cyrillic) O Bajke (Latin)|
|Somalian||Ku saabsan sheekooyin cirfiid|
|Spanish||Sobre los Cuentos de Hadas|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Дар бораи афсона-ҳикояҳо|
|Tamil||தேவதை கதைகள் பற்றி|
|Telugu||ఫెయిరీ కథలు గురించి ?|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Про чарівних історій|
|Urdu||پریوں کی کہانیوں پر|
|Vietnamese||Về câu chuyện cổ tích|
|Welsh||Ar Tylwyth Teg-Straeon|