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Showing posts from October 30, 2011

Nicht die Kinder bloß speist man mit Märchen ab

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It is not children only that one feeds with fairy tales.[Ger., Nicht die Kinder bloss speist man mit Marchen ab.] - Ephraim Gotthold Lessing, Nathan der Weise  (III, 6) 
It has taken me 30 minutes to trawl through various literal translations to understand the meaning of this quote. It seems to be most commonly used to reinforce a subtext of childlike naviety in certain circumstances but I am appropriating it in this instance to mean that adults may enjoy fairytales.  Found at the beginning of Bottighemiers book 'Fairytales and Society' I had the jist of what it meant... but to be accurate is important. Various google translations include: Not only one feeds the children off with fairy tales orNotjustthe kidsfedoffwithfairy tales which translates back to German as Nicht gerade zogen die Kinder weg mit Märchen ein.
Reading translations is fraught with danger but I need to read the original text of fairytale critiques. There is little point assuming that Jack Zipes analysis of a sc…