Byatt on Potter

jenne at jenne at
Wed Jul 9 15:43:08 EDT 2003

> 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,

Is she actually claiming that children's books are by definition lacking
in numinousity?  Is she just an idiot? One of the reasons that people go
back to some of the older children's books is their capacity for
expressing the "divine, spiritual, revealing or suggesting the presence of
a god; inspiring awe and reverence."

Modern high fiction is often completely lacking in what I would consider
numinousity because it's so grindingly realistic. (and written primarily
by middle aged white men, damaged minority women or young white men who
don't want to keep it in their pants....)

Consider Miss Lonelihearts, The Beans of Egypt Maine, etc. etc. etc.


-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika   jenne at
"If one by one we counted people out
For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long
To get so that we had no one left to live with.
For to be social is to be forgiving. " -- Robert Frost, "The Star-Splitter"

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