'Fairy tales since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, have been a means to conquer the terrors of humanity through metaphor.’
This is one of many challenging and thought-provoking observations made over a long career by Jack Zipes, one of the most eminent scholars of folklore, fairy tales and children’s literature, whose eightieth birthday was celebrated last year. It identifies not only one of the key characteristics of ‘wonder tales’, but also proposes a much wider audience and more important function for such tales than is often recognised.
Joining Jack to discuss the past, present and future of the ‘wonder tale’ is Philip Pullman, one of the foremost writers of speculative fiction and author of Clockwork, the His Dark Materials trilogy, La Belle Sauvage and Daemon Voices; and Marina Warner, novelist, short story writer, mythographer and scholar and author of Stranger Magic, Fly Away Home, Once Upon A Time and Forms of Enchantment. Hamish Fyfe will chair the discussion.