Educating a son I should allow him no fairy tales and only a very few novels. This is to prevent him from having 1. the sense of romantic solitude (if he is worth anything he will develop a proper and useful solitude) which identification with the hero gives. 2. cant ideas of right and wrong, absurd systems of honor and morality which never will he be able completely to get rid of, 3. the attainment of ideals, of a priori desires, of a priori emotions. He should amuse himself with fact only: he will then not learn that if the weak younger son do or do not the magical honorable thing he will win the princess with hair like flax.
Lionel Trilling (July 4, 1905 November 5, 1975) was an American literary critic, author, and teacher. Trilling was one of the group known as "The New York Intellectuals" and was viewed as one of the great literary critics of his time. He is probably most famous to the general public for his introduction to a 1952 reissue of George Orwell's book, Homage to Catalonia. He was also a regular contributor to the Partisan Review.