imagination in books

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Tue Mar 5 23:55:57 EST 2002

>I don't think so, but stranger things have happened.  Has anyone read her 
>Vogage of the Basset book, _Islands in the Sky_ I think it's called?  That 
>series is something else.  I read the first three - by Tanith Lee, Terri 
>Weindling and Sherwood Smith, and found all of them incredible.  (Not 
>incredibly good, btw.)  It's amazing how heavy-handed didactism in favour 
>of Using the Imagination ends up being almost as annoying as if it were 
>saying the opposite.  I found myself wondering who the editor/publisher 
>thought the target audience would be?  If you BUY a book that's fantasy, 
>surely to goodness you don't need to be hit over the head with the idea 
>that Fantasy is Good!  Maybe it's for parents who are desperate to turn 
>their kids into Harry Potter fanatics like the rest of the kids they know?

This is an interesting observation. The book I remember most vividly from 
my childhood as inspiring me to use my imagination is Emily of New Moon 
(and its sequels), where the imaginative character is pretty much 
persecuted and punished for using her imagination. This was much more 
effective to me than the Anne of Green Gables books (by the same author) 
where the girls go off and deliberately and preciously imagine things, and 
celebrate it in what I thought was a fairly soppy manner.


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