|Once Upon a Time...|
Whether you call it Faerie or Fairyland (or Faery), the place is the realm of fairy tales and all manner of other spritely or grimm (pun intended) adventures that we all grow up knowing and loving. Tolkien called it the Perilous Realm and I will not bother to describe it as the noble authors below – Michael Ende (the Master of Faerie), Neil Gaiman and Patricia A. McKillip – and do as far better job than I ever could. I do have more to say though, so do not stop with the quotes (great though they are).
“Once someone dreams a dream, it can't just drop out of existence. But if the dreamer can't remember it, what becomes of it? It lives on in Fantastica, deep under earth. There are forgotten dreams stored in many layers. The deeper one digs, the closer they are. All Fantastica rests on a foundation of forgotten dreams.” - Michael Ende
|"Doorway to the Stars" by Josephine Wall|
2. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Which one of these books is best? Well, Michael Ende has the Master of Faerie title in my mind...so I highly recommend you read The Neverending Story last, as my father and I did (indeed, we read all four of then together), so as not to make the others ones seem...well, that is another story and shall be told another time. See you in the apex of Faerie; see you in Fantastica.
"Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold...The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveler who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien
“I think readers like faerieland because it is a source of power, a source of imagination which becomes a very powerful tool. Maybe that’s why I keep digging into it, because it is something that’s totally imaginative, and yet it’s also a very ancient way of looking at the world. Maybe people look at these characters as symbols of something they want to be or to have. It’s also a way of looking at real people. If you look at a person that way, they become more powerful because you don’t know them; all you can see of that person is something that you want to be or to possess. Maybe that’s partly where faerie comes from.” - Patricia A. McKillip
I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I
had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of
childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” - C.S. Lewis
How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Yes, and back again.
If you feet are speedy and light
You can get there by candlelight.
Right beside your door.
Can I walk that way whenever I want?
No, three times and no more.
If you mark the road and measure it right
You can go there by candlelight.
A handful of salt and grain,
Water, some wool for warmth on the way,
And a candle to make the road plain.
If you carry these things and use them right
You can be there by candlelight.
Outside of here and there.
Am I crossing a bridge or climbing a hill?
Yes, both before you're there.
If you follow outside of day and night
You can be there by candlelight.
As hard as grief or greed.
What do I ask for when I get there?
Only for what you need.
If you travel in need and travel light,
you can get there by candlelight.
Three score years and ten.
Many have gone to Babylon
But few come back again.
If your feet are nimble and light,
You can be back by candlelight.