Witch week

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Mon Nov 10 13:53:09 EST 2003

> I want to assume that the magazine quoted her out of context, because it
> is the project of a fan magazine to keep the sharp divide between
> scholarship and "when the author thinks".  Even so...

I really don't know why this should be so, when critics and fans are often
the same people. I feel like I have more hats than heads in this kind of
discussion, but I think I can safely say that everyone who contributed to
that book was a DWJ fan - and Maria Nikiolajeva, for example, the most
obviously postmodern of them, clearly thinks DWJ is the bee's knees, as a
visit to her website will show. (Her essay in *EAEW* was probably not her
finest hour, but she's done a lot of good work on children's lit -
*Children's Literature Comes of Age* was very interesting, I thought.)

> worries me is the more unspoken part of how the books work -- the "this
> is a good giggle, as we all know how silly the concept even is, right?"

Maybe part of the trouble is that when Crews wrote his first book, academic
criticism of children's literature hardly existed, so he may have thought it
a fairly safe hundred acres or so where he could frolic without treading on
anybody's toes (tiddley pom) or egoze (tiddley pom). I suppose we could
always write and ask him...


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