Byatt on Potter

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Jul 9 13:42:22 EDT 2003


On Wed, 9 Jul 2003 04:59:44 -0400 (EDT), Anna Clare McDuff wrote:

>Byatt's article just made me feel tired. I am not surprised that
>she wrote: "Sadly, being taught literature often destroys the life of the
>books" if that's the approach she takes!

Yes, obviously she doesn't see the irony in her statement, having just
explained away whatever magic there is in HP5 as derivative, comforting,
unoriginal and lacking in numinosity.  Thank you for destroying the life of
the books, ma'am.  But she also says it as though this were an inevitable.
That bothers me and I can't really express why.  Something about not
recognizing the value of reading like a child, or like you did as a child,
and destroying that in favor of teaching literature, but then being
dismissive of people going *back* to that foundation because it's the only
one they have.  If we're breeding a world of non-readers (maybe so, maybe
not) then it's probably not the best idea to be overly judgmental of
whatever they do choose to read, even if it's not of the highest literary
quality.  It's certainly not going to get them reading in other directions.

Melisa Proffitt

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