Fairy Tales & Albert Einstein: Day 31 of Project 365


If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein has the kind of famous brilliance you don’t tend to disagree with. The above quote is yet another example.

Fairy tales are more than Disney cartoons made in the nineties, and they are more than (the very dark) Grimm’s Fairy Tales published in the early 1800’s. They are timeless stories about human nature that are so ancient and pervasive throughout the world’s civilization that even today their origins & meanings remain controversial.

Anthropologists have done studies on the origins of the stories, including such tales like Sleeping Beauty, Arabian Nights, and Cinderella. One project at the University of Durham studied over 35 versions of Red Riding Hood found around the world.

The world of fairy tales is a vast one, and too extensive to cover in just one blog entry. The wonderful thing about the internet (as long as we still have it these days) is that you can pick one fairy tale that interests you, and begin to look into it’s history. The docile, non-violent versions of modern day. The vicious, horrifying versions of a couple centuries back. The related stories dating to ancient mythology or other crumbling texts.

They are complicated enough to fascinate one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century, Einstein. And they are approachable by any age.

Most people know I love the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. I used to imagine the library (from the Disney cartoon version) as my “happy place” as a little girl. Most people do not know I also love fairy tales based in Russian folklore, many of which are produced in modern times as ballets. The Russians have a dark, unique view of the world that was dangerous enough to keep me deeply involved, both as a kid and now.

Happy one-month anniversary of Project 365!

What is your favorite fairy tale? Do you like the old fashion versions or the new, “clean-cut” versions?


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4 thoughts on “Fairy Tales & Albert Einstein: Day 31 of Project 365

  1. I always liked Pinocchio because he is the tragic hero as protagonist that suffers for his hubris, journeys in his apotheosis and in contrary to most tragic heroes is resurrected , purified and victorious. Has all the elements in literature and pattern of cultural hero ancient civilizations. I wrote a paper on it in college and the professor dismissed the whole concept and gave me an F. Obviously he had no background in examining tales and sagas from the view of cultural anthropology in literature as expression of pathos and ethos of a society.

  2. I love fairy tales and not sure I could pick just one favorite! I also think that reading these over the years increased the capacity for imagination and creativity that may not have surfaced if I had not read them. Thanks for bringing back many good memories and the desire for imagination! ~Debbie

  3. Pingback: Life’s No Fairy Tale — Or Is It? « Light's Scribe

  4. Pingback: Imagination is Everything. | CreateWhatYouWant

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