The true fairy-tale opens up with its child-like tone and its play with the wondrous, an area of our spirit into which other kinds of art and poetry cannot find their way. Our first, and most sacred relations with nature and the invisible world, the basis of our faith, the elements of our perception, birth, and grave, the creation around us, the necessities of our life, all this as fairy-tale and dream and cannot be resolved into what we call rational or consequent. Hence the sacredness and strange mysteriousness of all old romances. The creation, the origin of good and evil, the fall of the angels, redemption, call it what you will in Greeks, Gentiles, Jews, and Christians, the fresh originality of legend as well as of our closest everyday life, if we take the world in a sacred and serious way, is a fairy-tale.
Translated from his 1835 novella "The Old Book and the Voyage into the Blue"