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 clichés 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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