DWJ Survey

Sally Odgers sodgers at hotnet.net.au
Wed Dec 8 08:00:28 EST 1999

Actually, Hallie, I *did* include my hated books on my little list... but
the point about insults is well made. Even the nicest lists can sometimes
suffer when someone accidently treads on someone else's pet corn.  Loving
and or hating books is subjective, and for all the Dahl-haters on the list
(and I'm one of them) I can quite understand there are some who love his
stuff. The fact that I find them sickly, cruel and self-indulgent is beside
the point; a professor of English who teaches children's lit at Sturt
University pointed out to me last month that Dahl's "Charlie and Choc
Factory" is actually intensely moralistic. I'll take his word for it...
just as I must take the word of my high school Eng. Lit teacher that the
sordid, miserable, cruel short stories I was forced to study were "good
literature". After all, no-one forces me to read them nowadays. 

It's odd though, that some writers and books provoke such strong and
opposite reactions, just like some TV programmes. I cannot *bear* satirical
cartoons like The Simpsons. Something inside me just curls up in a hard
little lump of dislike whenever I lay eyes on one of those faces... but I
know a lot of people who really enjoy them. 

And I heard someone mention the other day how much she disliked Mary
Stewart's books. That really surprised me. I could imagine her not being
someone's cup of tea, but I wouldn't have thought she'd inspire such strong
feelings either way. I was so startled I didn't even ask her what she
disliked about them; now I wish I had!

So, if I attack someone's pet book, please remember I'm not attacking
*you*; or even your opinion. I'm attacking the effect the book has on *me*.

"I'm constitutionally unable to crawl..."

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