doom and gloom (was Re: Sallyo mentioned)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Nov 20 19:22:46 EST 2004


Devra wrote:

>     In fact it's an excellent article anyway, explaining why kids are tired
>of 'problem novels' and want to read about people who aren't being sexually
>abused, or alcoholic, or bulimic, or...

I got the impression the kids always *were* a bit tired of being expected
to read about such as a constant literary diet, and that this tiredness
hardly needs explaining given that adults too get bored with perpetual
misery.

It did seem to be the fact that during years when every new
highly-acclaimed children's book seemed to have to offer a new take on
terminal gloom, Enid Blyton was the best-selling author of books for
children, consistently, whichever way anyone tried to weigh the stats.
This indicated to me that whatever the prizes for children's fiction
awarded by serious lit'ry adults went to, the kids themselves were going
for something cheerful and escapist and *utterly unlike real life*.

With secret passages.  And lashings of ginger beer.

I didn't like Enid Blyton particularly but had to face the fact that she
did appear to be popular among all my children's friends, and that my lot
were going to read her work whether I approved of it or not.  On the whole
they all did tend to go for books that were not Relevant, not Meaningful,
not Socially Concerned and Aware, and not about things they could see on
the telly news being read by newscasters with serious expressions and
doleful intonations.  This seemed to me to be healthy, because why *should*
children have to be depressed all the time?

Minnow


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