Latest Issue

Neverending stories

Do fairy tales still have appeal? The world’s stubborn refusal to grant our wishes lies behind the sudden revival of old stories

By Adam Kirsch   September 2012

Little Red Riding Hood (Illustration by Margaret W. Tarrant): classic fairy tales give voice to the powerless, says the academic Jack Zipes

The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre By Jack Zipes (Princeton, £19.95)

Grimm Tales: For Young and Old

By Philip Pullman (Penguin Classics, £20)

Long Ago and Far Away: Eight Traditional Fairy Tales

Introduction by Marina Warner (Hesperus Press, £10)

It has been more than 70 years since Walter Benjamin, in his classic essay “The Storyteller,” declared that telling…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect