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#161430 - Sat Mar 01 2003 05:06 PM Too much Harry Potter?
snm Offline
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When I was at school once a year we used to have a "literature day" and they used to bring in various authors to speak to us. The authors were usually well known authors who had written books that were either very popular or were considered children's classics.
I have a sister who is ten years younger than me, she is at the same school as I was at, and yesterday was literature day. And what famous author did the teachers invite to speak to the children this year? The woman who translates the Harry Potter books into Hebrew!!!
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#161431 - Sat Mar 01 2003 07:16 PM Re: Too much Harry Potter?
ren33 Offline
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Well I am sure she is a very entertaining lady! We have a scheme in Hong Kong whereby authors who are on a list of those willing, come out and visit a lot of our schools . We have had some really well known childrens' authors from Australia, NZ, UK and some local ones too. We even had the author and illustrator of the Oxford Reading Tree books (Biff and Chip) out. They were most interesting and funny, very good with children. The school always ask the children to dress up as a character from a book. We have had to ban HP lookalikes as there were too many of them.
Book Week is always a great success out here.
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#161432 - Thu Mar 06 2003 10:51 AM Re: Too much Harry Potter?
skylarb Offline
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I don't know. For things like book fairs and the lot you are going to get whatever is popular, and Harry Potter is popular. In my day it would have been Beverley Cleary or Judy Blume for the girls and I don't know what for the guys.
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#161433 - Thu Mar 06 2003 09:56 PM Re: Too much Harry Potter?
MotherGoose Offline
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Harry Potter books have stimulated many children to read, where previously they had no interest in reading. Not only that, the books are lengthy, yet they hold the children's attention. Good triumphs over evil. There are no obscenities.

Not enough Harry Potter, if you ask me.
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#161434 - Fri Mar 07 2003 05:37 AM Re: Too much Harry Potter?
snm Offline
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I have nothing against Harry Potter, but they used to bring interesting authors to school. Now they're bringing someone who didn't even write the book- she just translated it. I know that's not easy, but I don't see the point of bringing her to speak to children about literature. The idea used to be to get children to read by introducing them to the author, but they're reading these books anyway (in any case I think Harry Potter is a bit of a rip-off of Enid Blyton, but that's a different topic).
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#161435 - Fri Mar 07 2003 04:27 PM Re: Too much Harry Potter?
ren33 Offline
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???
Quote:

(in any case I think Harry Potter is a bit of a rip-off of Enid Blyton, but that's a different topic).




Oh, please . Elaborate on how the trite, cliche-ridden, stereotype-laden, middle-class-biased, 'twee' little stories by Enid Blyton, compare with the works of J.K R??
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#161436 - Sat Mar 08 2003 06:04 PM Re: Harry Potter vs. Enid Blyton
snm Offline
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Ren, I wasn't referring to the quality, there was just something about the first Harry Potter book (which is the only one I've read) that reminded me of the... atmosphere that some of Enid Blyton's stories have. I'm not sure I can explain it or defend it, it was just the feeling I got.
As for "trite, cliche-ridden, stereotype-laden, middle-class-biased, 'twee' little stories " I found them enjoyable as a child and I used to read them to my sisters. I think the stories are sweet, and they have an element of simplicity and innocence in them that is virtually non-existent today. Also, I'm not sure Blyton's stories were cliched when they were written- I may be wrong about this but I think she may have invented some of the cliches. She wrote in the early twentieth century, and the "cliches" that appear in her stories are certainly nowhere to be seen in any of the late nineteenth century children's literature I've read.


Edited by snm (Sat Mar 08 2003 06:06 PM)
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#161437 - Sat Mar 08 2003 06:30 PM Re: Harry Potter vs. Enid Blyton
ren33 Offline
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OK, I concede that she got children reading who would not otherwise have read. I suppose cliche ridden was a little harsh, but she did go along with the racial, bigotted, non PC views of most of the middle class of the time. I quote the poet Brian Patten
"Her writing was repetitive and clumsy and bigoted, her villains were stereotyped, her characters all wooden, but so what? She transported a million children beyond the reach of the grown-up-thou-shalt-not-world."

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#161438 - Sat Mar 08 2003 08:07 PM Re: Enid Blyton
snm Offline
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Here's another interesting thing about her books: the "Noddy" books were banned in Apartheid South-Africa because Golliwog is black. I had a copy though
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#161439 - Sat Mar 08 2003 09:52 PM Re: Enid Blyton
ren33 Offline
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I believe some libraries banned it in England too along with "Little Black Sambo"...Big Ears is not exactly PC either is he?!
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#161440 - Sun Mar 09 2003 03:54 AM Re: Enid Blyton
MotherGoose Offline
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I think you have to view Enid Blyton as a product of her times. What we consider politically incorrect today was viewed as perfectly normal back then. You can find racism in Sherlock Holmes, Biggles, Agatha Christie etc. I don't think we should apply today's standards to a different time and culture.

There is also a tendency to read meanings into children's books which simply aren't there. For example, I can't understand how anyone can think Noddy and Big Ear implies a homosexual relationship.
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#161441 - Sun Mar 09 2003 08:58 AM Re: Harry Potter vs. Enid Blyton
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

OK, I concede that she got children reading who would not otherwise have read. I suppose cliche ridden was a little harsh, but she did go along with the racial, bigotted, non PC views of most of the middle class of the time. I quote the poet Brian Patten
"Her writing was repetitive and clumsy and bigoted, her villains were stereotyped, her characters all wooden, but so what? She transported a million children beyond the reach of the grown-up-thou-shalt-not-world."






And most modern children's writers go along with the multicultural, presumably inclusive, PC views of the middle class of our time. Does that make them equally unoriginal?
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#161442 - Mon Mar 10 2003 06:27 AM Re: Enid Blyton
Bertho Offline
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Enid Blyton, there's a memory. I confess enjoying those stories. I couldn't wait for Dick, Fanny and Moonheads next adventure up the Faraway tree! Sexual connotations? Maybe, though when I was ten I didn't even know what sex was so what did it matter? Noddy was definitely leaning on the camp side though. What about Bert and Earnie? Do they have their own rooms yet? I think people go to far.

Mothergoose, you said it well. They are all products of the time, particularly the racial stuff. If you drive a classic car without indicators or seat belts it's perfectly legal as the car was built before legislation made those things compulsory. Why not books? Right or wrong they can spell out a period of history and I'm for keeping them on the shelves - providing their not hate books of course.

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#161443 - Mon Mar 17 2003 09:36 AM Re: Enid Blyton
Miaow Offline
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I couldn't agree more with Mothergoose.

And getting back to the first post - it is hardly Harry Potter's fault or the fault of J K Rowling that a translator came to talk at literature day is it?

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