Toward the conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien's essay, "On Fairy-Stories", selected today especially for my good friend +Gray Pawn
, but for anyone who needs it:
"The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous 'turn' (for there is not true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist', nor 'fugitive'. In its fairy-tale -- or otherworld -- setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe
, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium
, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief."