Arizona State University

Traditional fairy tales enrich the three areas important to the maturation of a child's psyche: imagination, emotion, and intelligence. Over the past 20 to 30 years, the fairy tales passed off as children's literature have merely been declawed versions of the traditional narratives, providing simple entertainment rather than presenting the reader with the human condition. In response to the current trend of passing off psychically void, satirical, and epic-length novels as fairy tales, there must be a full return to the traditional motifs. Readers of all ages will again be able to synthesize the morals of the classic fairy tales (e.g. "Cinderella" and "Little Red Riding Hood" contain elements such as cannibalism, deception, triumph, and elation). These fantastic and horrifying elements allows readers to transpose real life fears and anxieties into the narrative. While a handful of contemporary authors are utilizing the classic tropes in their narratives, a few writers alone cannot completely resurrect the psychically fortifying fairy tale.

Joseph Abbruscato holds his BA (2008) and MA (2010) in English Lit from Arizona State University, where he focused on Fairy Tales, Mythology, and Children's Literature. He is currently Adjunct Faculty at Mesa Community College.

Abbruscato’s talk is hosted by the English Education Program in the Department of English at ASU.


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