The Song of Roland

#80- J.R.R. Tolkien’s “On Fairy-stories”


What are fairy-stories? What is their origin? What is the use of them?

This week, Scott and Karl read “On Fairy-Stories” and “Leaf by Niggle” by J. R. R. Tolkien. Both works offer answers to these questions while providing the underlying philosophy of Tolkien’s own fantastical writing, such as The Lord of the Rings.

In his essay “On Fairy-Stories,” Tolkien discusses the nature of fairy tales and fantasy in an effort to rescue the genre from those who would relegate it only to the nursery.

In the process of discussing the making of a fairy tale, the duo dives into the relationship between bare fact and storytelling. The power of a story, according to Karl, “pulls you out of where you’re living, what you’re doing, and makes you see things that you don’t see.”

Tune in to hear more on Tolkien’s defense of fantasy and why there’s no such thing as writing “for children.”

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