Friday, October 26, 2007

Chesterton on Prime Time

Thomas Gibson's character on "Criminal Minds" this week ended the show with this quote:

"Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed."

Typically, as sometimes happens with Chesterton, the character actor didn't get the exact quote which is:

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." ~G.K. Chesterton

H/T: Mark--who also noticed the misquote.

2 comments:

  1. chip m anderson11/03/2007 12:00 PM

    I do not doubt that Chesterton is the original source, but I am looking for the actual source of the Chesterton quote...the primary source...if you know it email me...wntinc@optonline.net...thx

    Chip Anderson
    www.wordsntone.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. from http://adventuresinfiction.blogspot.com/2007/10/fairy-tales-and-dragons.html
    and http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton

    "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," G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909).

    This is probably the source for the (mis)quote above, which appears a lot, along with this variation:
    “Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” (which, if I recall correctly, was the dedication - or something like that - in Neil Gaiman's Coraline).

    ReplyDelete

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