21 July, 2005

'Tis Potter season...

And time for sweeping statements about fantasy...

It's precisely Rowling's lack of sentimentality, her earthy, salty realness, her refusal to buy into the basic clich├ęs of fantasy, that make her such a great fantasy writer. The genre tends to be deeply conservative--politically, culturally, psychologically. It looks backward to an idealized, romanticized, pseudofeudal world, where knights and ladies morris-dance to Greensleeves.

and about literature for the pre-pubertal...

Good writing is the only point of comparison that ever means anything. And yeah, adult writing at that - because even the most polished and clever children's book is ultimately a work deliberately devoid of texture, and that's what pumps my reading nads.

Oh, of course, looking after the nads is always uppermost in a reader's mind. And since when is 'polished and clever' the definition of good writing?

9 Comments:

Blogger Tessa said...

But we expect nothing less from the media, do we?

Hello, Margo. Quite like your blog title. ;]

Tess

21 July, 2005 12:11  
Blogger Ben Payne said...

The old "fantasy is inherently conservative because it looks back to a blah de blah nostalgia yearning yawn" argument has always been a lazy argument, and only seems to be advanced by people who never read fantasy...

21 July, 2005 14:10  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

First-ever comments - exciting!

Tessaaa: Thought you'd like the title. It's a gift to my Clarion Southettes; also to Justine. And typographically, it has a lot of nice diagonals. :)

Hi Ben: Yes, I know it's a hoary old thing, but the confidence with which it gets advanced over and over and over...

It just got my goat this time. And now I have a blog to put things-that-get-my-goat in.

21 July, 2005 14:20  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Yes, I meant to say how amused I was by your title. Your stubborn misspelling of alll three words is delightful. Still, I remain confident that one day you'lll learn.

Welcome to the blogsphere! I'd say have fun but you already are.

22 July, 2005 00:21  
Blogger Trent said...

Hey, Margo,

Long time no hear! Glad you have a blog. I need to figure out how to monitor it. Hope the aussies and dingos are all treating you well down there.

Congrats on all the Black Juice successes, too. Wow. I see your name everywhere (just got the collection myself).

Take care.

22 July, 2005 00:29  
Blogger Patrick O'Duffy said...

Well, 'polished and clever' is my definition of good writing. Which I felt entitled to use, given that I was talking about my tastes. And my nads, come to that.

You don't need to defend yourself against things that aren't actually attacks, you know.

22 July, 2005 14:35  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

I don't believe she was defending herself, Patrick, merely not agreeing with you. Does happen here in the blogsphere.

22 July, 2005 14:37  
Blogger Patrick O'Duffy said...

Fair enough, I suppose. It's just odd to see my off-hand comments suddenly being co-opted to someone else's discussion.

...then again, I do the same thing myself. So this is probably karmic payback or something.

22 July, 2005 15:44  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Greetings, Trent! Good to hear from you - I've noticed you're very active on s1ngularity and on the CW99 list - which I read but haven't contributed to in a while. I hope you enjoy Black Juice.

Patrick: Hi, thanks for coming by, and of course you're entitled to define good writing any way you want. But yes, bung it up on a blog and anyone else is entitled to point at it and roll their eyes. Being off-hand about a field that some people devote their whole lives to WILL tend to get up their noses, you'll find.

The point I was making was that a new Potter always seems to trigger a little rash of dismissals about children's literature and/or fantasy from people who don't habitually read either. Those of us who do read/write either or both can't do very much about it, besides grouch to our colleagues - and pointing it out in our blogs is a form of grouching, with the added benefit of stinging you back if you happen on us! :) All respect to your nads and everything, and may they remain polished and comfortable 4 eva.

Best,
Margo.

25 July, 2005 15:23  

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