Every fairy tale offers the potential to surpass present limits, so in a sense the fairy tale offers you freedoms that reality denies. In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance. The affirmation lies in the way the author takes control of reality by retelling it in his own way, thus creating a new world. Every great work of art, I would declare pompously, is a celebration, an act of insubordination against the betrayals, horrors and infidelities of life. The perfection and beauty of form rebels against the ugliness and shabiness of the subject matter. This is why we love “Madame Bovary” and cry for Emma, why we greedily read “Lolita” as our heart breaks for its small, vulgar, poetic and defiant orphaned heroine.
― Azar Nafisi,
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
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