Thanksgiving 4: Eucatastrophe

Courtesy of Google.

Courtesy of Google.

Today, I’m thankful for eucatastrophe. This is a term coined by Tolkien to mean the turning point of grace. He himself says in his lecture on Fairy-Stories that the true turning point of grace in history is Christ’s Incarnation and his Resurrection. Think about that! It is the moment of surprising hope. It is the moment all that is dark and bad turns to good and joy. A true fairy story must have this moment. These are my favorite stories to write. They aren’t so popular right now, the happy ending I mean, but I love them all the same. I am very thankful for real eucatastrophies and fictional ones.

It is because of this I have decided to stop saying I write Fairy Tales and start saying I write Fairy Stories. 🙂

Eucatastrophe is a neologism coined by Tolkien from Greek ευ- “good” and καταστροφή “destruction”.


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 the adventures, it can give to 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, and having a peculiar quality.

On Fairy-Stories

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 4: Eucatastrophe

  1. Or you could start saying “faerie stories”! It sounds the same of course, but as Anne of Green Gables would agree, it looks different in the mind to spell it that way. 😉

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