Apathy Jack writes:
So, I see that Harry Potter And The Oh For Fuck’s Sake Just Fucking Die Already Why Can’t You is released today.
Reminds me of the article Span brought to my attention.
This one here.
On the one hand, I disagree with Lezard's implicit idea that children's literature should be written with as much of a flourish as its adult equivalent. In my last post on this issue I mentioned I’d read kid’s books UnLunDun and Skulduggery Pleasant. UnLunDun was passed to my flatmate, and is currently doing the rounds of various friends; Skulduggery Pleasant isn’t, simply because the language and ideas presented therein just aren’t complex enough to hold an adult’s interest for that long. However, I will be lending both to my students, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be enjoyed equally. Just because Lemony Snickett (as an example) is clever, it doesn't mean that children won't like reading books that aren't Lemony Snickett.
However, all the cretins who have argued that Harry Potter counts as valid adult literature need to realise the absolute, crushing truth of this part of Lezard’s article:
Here, from page 324 of The Order of the Phoenix, to give you a typical example, are six consecutive descriptions of the way people speak. "...said Snape maliciously," "... said Harry furiously", " ... he said glumly", "... said Hermione severely", "... said Ron indignantly", " ... said Hermione loftily". Do I need to explain why that is such second-rate writing?
If I do, then that means you're one of the many adults who don't have a problem with the retreat into infantilism that your willing immersion in the Potter books represents. It doesn't make you a bad or silly person. But if you have the patience to read it without noticing how plodding it is, then you are self-evidently someone on whom the possibilities of the English language are largely lost.
I was discussing this issue last night with a friend who pointed out an exercise he was given by someone he knew: reread the first book in the series, find the several incidents of Harry going for a walk, and figure out how many of those times Rowling describes it as “stretching his legs”.
The answer is: all of them.
I’m pleased it’s raining on all you morons queuing for the book right now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read some Ghost Rider comics...