YA literature as storytelling

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Tue Mar 30 10:35:28 EST 2004


>For Benjamin (roughly), the writer and the reader of the novel are both
>isolated, and the novel is completely consumed in the writing/reading of
>it, with no remainder: it's an art form which is self-contained and closed
>off from the world. By contrast, "the storyteller is a man* who has
>counsel for his readers... Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is
>wisdom. The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side
>of truth, wisdom, is dying out."
>Which reminded me of the title of the collection of essays on DWJ, and
>also I think the idea of "counsel" gets quite nicely at the way YA
>literature seems to be characterized - not by being didactic or preachy at
>all, but by... well, having counsel for its readers.

This has been simmering very vaguely on the back-burner and I'm 
curious as to whether Benjamin gave examples of his novelists and 
storytellers?  It's an interesting distinction and the 'Counsel woven 
into the fabric of real life is wisdom' line is fantastic.  But after 
throwing out a very hasty and superficial distinction between modern 
literary fiction which might have seemed to fall into the former 
category and - what?  Didn't come up with much beyond 19th century 
lit. which would necessarily fill the second one.  Though I can see 
it as a distinction between YA and adult.  As long as I leave out 
Connie Willis!  Just as the first 'adult' author to occur to me for 
whom the word 'counsel' pops up.

<wheedling>  If you're *looking* for an excuse for work displacement 
activities, Ika, I found this interesting.  :)


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