The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 22, 2010 - Psychology - 352 pages
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Winner of the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award

"A charming book about enchantment, a profound book about fairy tales."—John Updike, The New York Times Book Review
 
Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development.

Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Sindbad to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” Bettelheim shows how the fantastical, sometimes cruel, but always deeply significant narrative strands of the classic fairy tales can aid in our greatest human task, that of finding meaning for one’s life.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lbswiener - LibraryThing

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales is written like a dissertation. Unfortunately, I am not interested in the author's thoughts nor do I agree with his interpretation of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Breton07 - LibraryThing

"The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales" is very accessible to adult readers. It is written in layman's terms, and helps the reader realize that Fairy Tales can be used to ... Read full review

Contents

Life Divined from the Inside
23
Vicarious Satisfaction versus Conscious Recognition
53
Bringing Order into Chaos
74
Tales of Two Brothers
90
Transcending Infancy with the Help of Fantasy
123
Fantasy Recovery Escape and Consolation
143
On the Telling of Fairy Stories
150
Hansel and Gretel
159
Jack and the Beanstalk
183
The Jealous Queen in Snow White
194
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
215
The Sleeping Beauty
225
Cinderella
236
The AnimalGroom Cycle of Fairy Tales
277
Notes
311
Bibliography
325

Little Red Riding Hood
166

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About the author (2010)

Bruno Bettelheim was born in Vienna in 1903. He received his doctorate at the University of Vienna and came to America in 1939, after a year in the concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald. He was a Distinguished Professor of Education and Professor of both psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago. He died in 1990.

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