Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. HarperCollins. 2012. Epigraph.
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NOTE: Earliest known attribution is an epigraph in Neil Gaiman, Coraline (2004). Possibly from an early quote by G.K. Chesterton, “Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear. Tremendous Trifles (1909), XVII: “The Red Angel“ (Taken from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton)
PERSONAL NOTE: This has got to be one of my all-time favorite quotes. When I first read it, I was simply in awe at its simple truth. I thought of all the fairy tale and fantasy books I had ever read and that is what was in the book. It was the idea that bad things could be defeated. The hope, the courage, the optimism of such a thought was uplifting. “It made me happy” to quote a friend of mine.