The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (Penguin Psychology) Paperback – 25 Apr 1991
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"Bettelheim argues convincingly that fairy tales provide a unique way for children to come to terms with the dilemmas of their inner lives." --"The Atlantic" "A charming book about enchantment, a profound book about fairy tales." --John Updike, "The New York Times Book Review"" ""A splendid achievement, brimming with useful ideas, with insights into how young children read and understand, and most of all overflowing with a realistic optimism and with an experienced and therapeutic good will." --Harold Bloom, "The New York Review of Books " "Provocative and persuasive." --"Boston Globe"
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The great child psychologist gives us a moving revelation of the enormous and irreplaceable value of fairy tales - how they educate, support and liberate the emotions of children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As might be expected from a Freudian there is a lot of discussion about how children deal with their forthcoming sexuality. He doesn't make extreme assertions about children being sexual but if you aren't open to the premise that there are complicated things going on in the young mind linked to sex, you probably won't like this book.
The book was written 38 years ago. In a subject as fast moving as psychology it would be surprising if ideas had not moved on in the 38 years since Bettelheim wrote his book. Nevertheless it remains full of insight as well as being clearly written and enjoyable to read.
There has been some criticism of the author's character. I would recommend taking the work in itself without speculating on the man. If you are interested in the man I would refer to Wikipedia's account rather than hostile book reviews.
The tales Bettelheim uses are only those that got into print - molested and relentlessly edited by the Brothers Grimm, so how can these give us any insight into a universal instruction for morality? See all the criticism done by Marina Warner and Maria Tatar etc which troubles the idea of there ever being a stable version of the tale we think of when someone says 'Little Red Riding Hood' thus never any stable meaning we can use to 'instruct our children' as Bettelheim hopes to do - the reason why he believes farytales are important. The universal morals Bettelheim comes up with really just turn out to be the morals of the 19th century patriarchal society he was living in. Or don't bother with any of the much more realistic and historically informed approaches to fairtyale criticism that have surfaced in the last decade and highlight the ridiculousness of Bettelheim's method and pursuit, and just read up on his life. Although a seeming paragon for the importance of reassurance in the socialisation of children - a need he sees fulfilled by fairytales - biographical details suggest he was in his own practices some what *authoritarian* with kids, if not worse...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best book for any fictional writer as it really does give a great diagnosis on why fantasy exists and why we need itPublished 3 months ago by Thomas Close
It was an old hardback copy. The pages were yellow but still all firmly in place. An interesting book in very good condition equals one happy customer.Published 9 months ago by Josh
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