When people think of J.R.R. Tolkien, we usually think of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings but he wrote many other things. One of them was an essay called “On Fairy-stories”
In this article, Holly Ordway writes about how this essay affected her.
Tolkien opened my eyes to the way that literature could have meaning and significance that included, but went beyond, the pleasure of story and character. And he did so in a way that made me more interested in reading, not less, and gave more, not less, enjoyment of what I read. Tolkien’s perspective, and its effect, is not, I am sorry to say, typical of modern academic literary criticism, as I would discover in graduate school. But “On Fairy-stories” had both set the standard and awakened my interest, and it gave me a direction for my academic interests.
You can read the entire article here.