Teaching Dark Lord part 2

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Fri May 17 23:08:18 EDT 2002

On Fri, 17 May 2002 rohina at shaw.ca wrote:

|> DLoD is a very strange book in that it has a fully realized
|> adolescent hero who is written just as an adolescent hero should
|> be  -- and yet it also has a fully realised adult hero.  I
|> suspect that some of the students' discomfort with Derk's faults
|> is that our preconceptions lead us to think that it is solely
|> Blade's book.  So Derk should be acting in the ways we've come to
|> expect of a father in an adolescent's novel, shouldn't he?
|> But DWJ is'nt writing in a strictly defined genre anymore.  Thus
|> Derk's failings as a man are unexpected in a genre in which we'd
|> be more likely to expect his failings as a father.
|I love this comment, Deborah, vey insightful. It is interesting how few
|happy and connected families there are in YA Lit - so in a way, that's a
|whole 'nother set of assumptions that DWJ is challenging. In most of the
|books I can think of, it is okay to get along with your siblings OR your
|parents, but not both. 

Thanks.  It's something I've been thinking about for a while with
regards to YA literature expectations, which I started thinking
about specifically because of DLoD.  I thought about writing a
paper about it, but except for some more details about what
exactly our expectations are for "normal" YA lit, I feel like
I've said everything there is to say in the paragraph above.
That is, *here* are our expectations for certain adult genres,
*here* are our expectations for certain childhood and YA genres,
and in the last five years DWJ has started blowing those
expectations all to hell in a way nobody else does.  Okay, then
what?  And who is the implied audience for such genre-benders?

I mean, besides us.

deborah at suberic.net
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?   -- Paradise Lost

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