Susan Cooper

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Mon Oct 27 23:30:27 EST 2003

>The issues *I* have with the series have to do with Will being an Old One
>while still appearing to be a teen.  He has serious potential for being a
>Smug Git all through the rest of his teens.  And while I know I defended the
>whole human/Old One dichotomy, it makes me uncomfortable, all that "we are
>better than humans though of course we'd never say so because we don't
>actually think that but, yes, really we do" vibe they give off.  My adult
>self would very much like for the humans to be able to stage some kind of
>revolt and kick all their immortal butts off the planet.

This is a really interesting issue. I think there is an elitist element - I 
was going to say racist, but I suspect it is actually more an intellectual 
superiority thing - in the books. Cooper is clearly oblivious to this, 
because there she is preaching about racism in Silver on the Tree, when 
Will's family are all morally superior to the father of the bad boy who has 
been bullying. I say she's oblivious because there's this message about the 
Old Ones preventing evil, but never any sense that they should reflect on 
their methods.

>I just spent two hours composing a response (for another list) in defense of
>J.K. Rowling.  It's not like she's even my favorite writer, but I just
>cannot stand assumptions of superiority and that whole ridiculous absolute
>standard of literary style.

Have you noticed how often people who go on about this make simple 
grammatical errors? Speaking as someone who teaches stylistics, I don't 
understand this notion of absolutes anyway. Writing style is partly 
aesthetic, like painting or music - sure, you can make judgements about 
technique, but it isn't the only element.

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