owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
-I finished The Female Man, which is quite possibly the oddest novel I have ever read. I've become more and more disenchanted with the dictum, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union" -- by the way, are we ever going to update that? Is the next generation going to know what a Western Union is?

As story, it's not traditionally structured, the points of view are often slippery, it's hard to find a clear through-line to the plot -- but as philosophy, it's tremendous, and it does a lot of things it wouldn't have been able to do as nonfiction or polemical lecture.

There's no such thing as story in a vacuum, story with no moral center. It's just that there are some stories where the viewpoint seems so self-evident and natural to the reading audience that it slips down without any argument. Which is why the classic feminist SF novels are called anvilicious and the classic SF novels that just barely have speaking parts for women aren't.

-Needless to say, I am rolling my eyes at this article in the Wall Street Journal on "dark" YA books.

Any article that conflates the action-adventure violence of The Hunger Games, the realistic darkness of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and the melodrama sensationalism of melodrama-sensationalistic problem novels is profoundly uninterested in what teens are actually reading, not to mention the hows and whys of their reading.

Mostly, I'm not interested in homeopathic bibliotherapy: you are sad about X, so here is a book about X. I think the books that come out of that kind of philosophy are often bad books. But I am with Nisi Shawl. The books that you want to read are the books that are going to nourish you, often in ways you don't fully understand. And to fence off any topic or theme as not appropriate for young adults, I think, gets in the way of that.

(no subject)

6/6/11 18:48 (UTC)
raanve: (margot tennenbaum)
Posted by [personal profile] raanve
The books that you want to read are the books that are going to nourish you, often in ways you don't fully understand. And to fence off any topic or theme as not appropriate for young adults, I think, gets in the way of that.

Yeah, this exactly. I find the whole "YA Saves" thing on twitter to be very interesting, and I know I had those experiences with some books of "Oh, that's like ME" and that was important to me, but I also read books just b/c I liked them, and read others as a kind of exploration of weird/scary stuff in a safe way. There are so many reasons to read.

When Nisi said that during her speech it was kind of like DING, THAT'S IT! And not just with books, but with so much other stuff! I think one of the hardest lessons I've learned as a "grown up" is that it's good to feed myself the stuff that makes me happy. So. Books and fic and TV and bandom and glitter. ;)

(no subject)

7/6/11 01:31 (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sasha_feather
ne of the hardest lessons I've learned as a "grown up" is that it's good to feed myself the stuff that makes me happy.

Yes!!!

(no subject)

7/6/11 01:32 (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sasha_feather
This is the first time I've read the word "anvilicious", thank you for that. :)

(no subject)

7/6/11 16:18 (UTC)
deborah: The management regrets that it was unable to find a Gnomic Utterance that was suitably irrelevant. (gnomic)
Posted by [personal profile] deborah
Off-topic, but it's always so odd which books end up being bibliotherapy for what people. The two books that ended up being bibliotherapy for me in the last couple of years, for example, were yours and Fire, because both of them hit me in the right place in the issues I was having at the time.

(I was deeply, deeply grieving when I read A Love Story, and for some reason it was exactly the book I needed to help me cope with my grief at the stage it was in at that point. By which I mean I ended up huddled in a corner blubbering and whimpering.)

But both of those are books that weren't intended as issue books, they just happened to touch me in the right way at that point. Which is not to say that there aren't issue books that have also been very useful for me.

One friend and I have gotten into arguments about Wintergirls, about how for me it is the opposite of helpful, and fired up all of my old eating disorder issues I thought had gone away with adulthood, and for her it was incredibly helpful. Books match with people.

(no subject)

24/6/11 11:06 (UTC)
pinesandmaples: A bunch of green coconuts on the tree. (theme: au naturel)
Posted by [personal profile] pinesandmaples
I liked the premise the headline promised, but the article failed to deliver. (I was traveling that day, and our hotel gave us a free WSJ. I never turn down a free WSJ.)

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