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Once Upon a Time's Jane Espenson on The Power of Fairy Tales

There's no denying that as big as vampires were a year ago, fairy tales seem to be growing in popularity and proliferating on film, TV, in fiction and so on. ABC's Once Upon a Time debuts October 23rd and Blog caught up with that show's Jane Espenson to get her opinion about what in the name of neverland is going on.
"The era of the vampire lasted for longer than I though it would," Espenson laughs. "And I’ve been sort of waiting to see what would be the next thing. Because aliens, robots, and monsters, including vampires, all play the same role in fantasy drama. I've heard it expressed, and I think this is pretty smart, that in sort of Depression-era times, there’s something about fairy tales that start to have resonance again, like the original [Disney] Snow White, the animated Snow White in 1937. There may be something there that makes familiar tales of childhood resonate in dark economic times, and it may simply be that in these times, we need that next thing. There are only so many basic fantasy genres. And one of the genres is fairy tales. And one is monster stories. And one is alien stories. And we happen to be in an era in which it’s just time for fairy tales to cycle back around again."
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After having to write my essay on the same I understood people have been telling stories ever since we began warming ourselves by fires. With fairy tales, stories from the Arabian Nights, and other folk stories, we're meant to remember them and ultimately, through our experiences or with the help of others, understand them. Part of their attraction is that they're not always so easy to unravel, even aided by folks like Robert Bly. Something remains elusive. The oldest story in the world may be the epic of Gilgamesh, which carries threads of other stories, notably a world-wide flood. But I'd defy anyone to "figure out" Gilgamesh entirely. Perhaps these stories are links to our shared subconscious - an idea popularized by Jung. In any case, they do seem to cross cultural lines, linking human beings across continents and epochs, beckoning to us with something both familiar and unknown.
kay333lol - 4/27/2018, 4:10 AM

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