Fairy Tales and Censorship At Issue

At Issue

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

The fairy tale, or a tale that features some prominent supernatural element, is a common narrative form throughout the world. Though each country’s tradition of tale-telling bears recognizable differences, enough similarity in structure exists for scholars to create categories and patterns that cross cultural boundaries. Of these, the creation of types of subgenres of tales is the most common. The term fairy tale has been interpreted to include all types of tales, from fables to miraculous legends, to anecdotes. The most-censored varieties of fairy tales fall into two categories: the literary fairy tale and the children’s fairy tale. Of these, the children’s tales are much better known and more popular, but each has a long history of censorship, almost as long as their existence in print.