• Fairy tales and folk tales are for children and childlike people, not because they are little and inconsequential, but because they are as enormous as life itself

    Anthony Esolen
  • And those characters [in a fairy tale] dwell in a moral world, whose laws are as clear as the law of gravity. That too is a great advantage of the folk tale. It is not a failure of imagination to see the sky blue. It is a failure rather to be weary of its being blue- and not to notice how blue it is. And appreciation of the subtler colors of the sky will come later. In the folk tale, good is good and evil is evil, and the former will triumph and later will fail. This is not the result of the imaginative quest. It is rather its principle and foundation. It is what will enable the child later on to understand Macbeth, or Don Quixote, or David Copperfield

    Anthony Esolen
  • The worst feature of the Common Core is its anti-humanistic, utilitarian approach to education. It mistakes what a child is and what a human being is for. That is why it has no use for poetry, and why it boils the study of literature down to the scrambling up of some marketable "skill" [...] you don't read good books to learn about what literary artists do...you learn about literary art so that you can read more good books and learn more from them. It is as if Thomas Gradgrind had gotten hold of the humanities and turned them into factory robotics

    Anthony Esolen
  • We would – or at least we should – take upon ourselves the ultimate task of our poet: to seek the face of God

    Anthony Esolen
  • If we loved children, we would have a few. If we had them, we would want them as children, and would love the wonder with which they behold the world, and would hope some of it might open our eyes a little. We would love their games, and would want to play them once in a while, stirring in ourselves those memories of play that no one regrets, and that are almost the only things an old man can look back on with complete satisfaction. We would want children tagging along after us, or if not, then only because we would understand that they had better things to do

    Anthony Esolen
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