J. R. R. Tokien, "On Fairy-Stories"
"The definition of a fairy-story -- what it is, or what it should be -- does not depend on any definition or historical account of elf or fairy, but upon the nature of Faerie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the air that blows in that country."
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"Faerie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons: it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted."
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"It is the mark of a good fairy story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible its adventures, it can give to the child or man that hears it, when the 'turn' comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art."
"In such stories when the 'turn' comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of the story, and lets a gleam come through."
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