Today’s NYT has a wonderfully eloquent defense of fairy tales. Valerie Gribben charts her love affair with fairy tales, describes how she discarded them when she grew up and went to medical school, and how she returned to them in her third year of medical school during her rotations.
Fairy tales are, at their core, heightened portrayals of human nature, revealing, as the glare of injury and illness does, the underbelly of mankind. Both fairy tales and medical charts chronicle the bizarre, the unfair, the tragic. And the terrifying things that go bump in the night are what doctors treat at 3 a.m. in emergency rooms.
So I now find comfort in fairy tales. They remind me that happy endings are possible. With a few days of rest and proper medication, the bewildered princess left relaxed and smiling, with a set of goals and a new job in sight. The endoscopy on my cross-eyed confidante showed she was cancer-free.
I just ordered her Fairytale Trilogy, which she wrote when she was sixteen. She also has a blog: https://valeriegribben.wordpress.com/
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