This week’s show came about in the best possible way — while browsing illustrated books about classic literature at a quaint children’s book shop in Minneapolis (The Wild Rumpus). I pitched the brilliant folklorist Maria Tatar as a guest who could talk about why all these timeless stories are infusing our culture in fresh ways these days. The popularity of Game of Thrones and The Vampire Diaries is a testament to the great, inventive work being done.
Fairy tales don’t only belong to the domain of childhood. These stories’ overt themes are threaded throughout hit TV series like True Blood, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time too. These stories survive, says Maria Tatar, by adapting across cultures and history. They are carriers of the plots we endlessly re-work in the narratives of our lives — helping us work through things like fear and hope.
I think you’re going to dig this conversation. If so, spread the word: reblog, tweet, post on your own site, you name it.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Maria Tatar is an expert on fairy tales, and she brings a fascinating point of view to discussions. We were lucky enough to speak with her twice, once about “Hansel and Gretel,” and a second time about the lesser-known story “The Girl Without Hands.”