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View Diary: Has it been fifty years already? Some Thoughts on A Wrinkle In Time (111 comments)

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  •  I loved AWIT and read it several times. (11+ / 0-)

    I still think back on it fondly, and make odd references to IT here and there.

    But like you, I found it a little hollow as an adult and I'm not sure it's simply the outdated technology issues because a good writer (which L'Engle certainly is) draws us into a willing suspension of disbelief anyhow. Certainly, we don't believe in the reality of Alice's  or Gulliver's worlds to buy into  the authenticity of their experiences and the meaning to us, the readers.

    The key way to determine whether "children's" literature is quality is whether it's good literature (to adults) period. (read Stuart Little , Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, or Island of the Blue Dolphins and see if you're not charmed or intrigued).

    And L'Engle does kind of fall down a bit.   I certainly would (and have) buy AWIT for any and every child I know, and I have it and the subsequent novels on my shelf as well; but it doesn't have the same legs as other fine children's literature.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

    by grover on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 03:45:29 PM PST

    •  Does it matter? I think it matters more (9+ / 0-)

      what sort of effect it has on you.  I think A Wrinkle in Time had a huge effect on me as a young person, and that effect followed me all of my life.

      •  I think the lesson that we're all flawed (8+ / 0-)

        in some way, yet we can rise above our flaws and be great, is one that's really needed. Even the popular Calvin O'Keefe is trying to compensate for his flawed family life. (And I love the scene just before they leave on the adventure, with Calvin telling Meg to put her glasses back on after she was crying: "I don't want others to know what gorgeous eyes you have.")

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 10:25:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does it matter if something is good art that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa, JBL55, wahineslc

        works for a specific demographic audience or excellent art that transcends time and place?

        A philosophical question, I suppose.

         It does matter for those of us to whom literature matters. And having studied children's literature, I believe strongly that children deserve access to as fine, if not better, literature as adults expect for themselves. The  Twilight stories may have a deep effect on young people, and I've been assured by a cohort (a 6th grade teacher) that they're superior to the movies in every way (although I'm sure Ms Meyer is no

         But does that mean we should elevate them just because of their "effect" on young people? Or do we have standards for art and value it for its own sake?

        Philosophical questions for another diary, I guess...

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

        by grover on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 11:34:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends what the effect is. I don't mean (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wahineslc, Fiona West

          just because something is popular.

          For me, the books said that it's okay to not be just like everyone else.

          •  I agree. It said it's okay to be yourself, and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            those who want to make everyone the same are doing something deeply wrong.  And it says there is incredible beauty and wonder in the world, despite the darkness.

            AWIT is the kind of book that breeds resiliency in kids. It doesn't surprise me to learn that L'Engle was isolated and unhappy while growing up.  She wrote a book which convincingly portrays, for children, a world in which there's a lot of darkness and grimness.  The book in effect says to kids who are lost, miserable, or abandoned: yeah, I know.  Yeah, it's hard.  Yet, it also says, there's companionship, love, and joy to be found. There are bonds that endure.

            This is a powerful message, and that particular kind of effect is more important than weaknesses in pacing.

        •  "art that transcends time and place" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, RosyFinch

          Isn't that what she taught us to do, with the concepts in the book?

          Or taught us was possible....

          This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

          by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 01:03:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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