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Thread: J.K. Ruling?

  1. #31
    Goliardeys
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    Granny, I hope you're not assuming that I have no respect for children. I love em, spend a lot of time with mine, am supposedly good with them.

    In children's books the heroes are either wonderfully able in a way that most children are not, or have disadvantages and overcome them, and many children do not overcome their disadvantages in real life. These styles are perfectly in order because the children's writer has an obligation to provide aspirational fiction - but as a reader I am past the need for those aspirations myself.

    I believe that there should be children in most stories because they are part of life - I write children all the time - but I prefer to see them from an adult point of view because that relates to my own point of view in the real world.

    Goliardeys.



  2. #32
    Granny
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    In some children's literature the characters are able to do things children would not/could not do in real life. Just as in some adult literature the characters are able to do things people in the same situation would not/could not do in real life. There are a number of children's books that do, in fact, explore the helplessness of childhood -- the lack of respect, the lack of power -- but other books are more escapist -- just as some adult books about about being trapped by responsibility and bad choices and are bleak while other adult books are about overcoming what we do not overcome in real life. Many adult books are escapist. Many children's books are escapist. Some adult books are more serious even to the point of bleak hopelessness, and the same goes for some children's books. Since children, in general, enjoy being depressed less than adults do, the percentage of bleak books for young people is a bit smaller (until you hit YA -- the trend today in YA is VERY bleak, dark, heavily preoccupied with sex and violence.) So if you are just missing the sexual dimension, young adult novels have plenty of it for you.

    But, honestly, if you have no interest in the form and no respect for it...it is a lot like the tv watcher who thinks all books are paperback romance novels.

    Gran

  3. #33
    Goliardeys
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    You misunderstand me, Granny. Ignoratio elenchi. I am not against children's literature in the slightest. What I am saying is that, on the whole, it is not what I wish to read as an adult.

    Goliardeys.

  4. #34
    Granny
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    There is nothing wrong with prefering not to read kid lit...we all have reading preferences. I prefer not to read chick lit, though I am so unfamiliar with the genre that I couldn't make blanket statements about it -- simply that I haven't enjoyed the very few examples I attempted so I prefer not to test the waters further. There are too many forms of writing that I do enjoy.

    It's fine that you don't want to read kid lit or haven't enjoyed the very few examples you attempted. But when you make blanket generalities from scant examples, you insult the genre. Personally, I try not to do that in relation to those books I choose not to read because it is insulting to the author who work so hard to produce those books and the readers who enjoy them. Likewise, making generalities about kidlit from ignorance is insulting to the many authors who craft them and the readers who love them.

    But I suspect you just don't understand so I promise not to post further on this thread. I am a little touchy about this subject since one of the FAVORITE ignorant celebrity comments is to say they HAD to write a children's book because there aren't any good ones out there. Well, since the majority of the published celebrity kid books are dreck (and I actually HAVE read them), they both spoke from ignorance and wrote from ignorance. Celebrity authors have an automatic platform to dis kidlit, so many children's writers have gotten a little touchy about people making generalities based on no personal knowledge, research, or experience.

    Gran

  5. #35
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    So, Gran's, I guess you won't be buying a Pamela Anderson book on how the animals go two to two into the ark (an instructional guide on dressing yourself)? :-) (Just kidding.)

  6. #36
    Goliardeys
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    When did I say that I've attempted to read few examples? Far from being ignorant about the subject, my reference to the Carol Kendall and Willans and Searle sources for two of Rowling's character names shows a close knowledge of what I'm talking about.

    My writing attempts to be readable by both children and adults, which is tricky, though Roald Dahl achieved that in several of his books. It would be arrogant to try such a thing without reading children's literature.

    You seem to think I'm saying that children's literature is inferior to adult literature, or that I don't respect children. Such views are miles from the ones I hold.

    Goliardeys.

  7. #37
    billy c.
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    Didn't Roald Dahl write <James and the Giant Peach>? It was the first book I read as a child that opened up the world of magic. Though the thought of a giant spider crawling around in a peach made me shudder. :O

  8. #38
    billy c.
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    OK, I hope that everyone received the rest of my sentence by means of my telepathic broadcast. In case you didn't, (I'll forgive you this once if you didn't) I was clearly refering to James in the Giant Peach. Duh!

  9. #39
    Barrie
    Guest

    Re: Child's lit

    Thank you all for some intersting ideas. I'm going to have to read your posts carefully with some tea and cookies when I go to bed tonight.

    I love Harry Potter, and I'm 53 years old with no kids. Perhaps the child in me is responding to the story. This delightful magical world, and the natural development of childhood and moral character, even the multiple layer of mythological links, a new use for Latin, is enjoyable. During the days of 9/11 I could re-read one of the Harry books and actually laugh and forgot to grieve for a little while. Which says a lot about about a book's impact on one person. And as authors we want to be able to capture our reader's full attention for a while, and hopefully, have them close our books and feel recharged. I know Harold Bloom doesn't think much of the literary quality of Rowling's writings, but the soul is helped along in many ways, Harold.

    But on to a literary question. I don't know alot about children's literature. But i did see a TV special indicating that one of the surprises of this series was it was one of the few books that both boys and girls read. I'd love to hear some thoughts on development of literary tastes as we age. In general, novels are written mostly for women. (If my ignorance of novel demographics is showing, i'm a fairly one-sided non-fiction reader and writer. But i'm working at broadening my horizons ) Are adult books bridging genders, on the average, better than children's literature?

    Barrie

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