Daily Archives: January 10, 2008

Thoughts on Newbery: Shortly

When I’m back or recovered or revived or …whatever.

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Baby Bowdlerising

Children are much more sophisticated readers than today’s squeamish editing allows for, writes Edward Champion in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog – books: Stop bowdlerising books for kids.

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The Golden Compass Movie: The Director Defends

From mediabistro.com: FishbowlLA

Director Chris Weitz writes the Atlantic’s editors a stern letter regarding Hanna Rosin’s piece about The Golden Compass. He calls it a hatchet job, and complains that she accused him of “selling out” author Philip Pullman’s books. Rosin replies, claiming that she was just trying to explain how hard it was to make a profitable movie, but not offend the religious types who Pullman distains.

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Cosmic Fantasy

As in other recent novels on grandly cosmic themes—for instance, Philip Pullman’s ambitious His Dark Materials trilogy or Gene Wolfe’s majestic Book of the New Sun quartet—much in Aegypt remains open to speculation: Is there a significant reason that so many people are given names with repeated initials like RR and BB? What is the implication of the Sphinx’s real name (which we eventually learn)? Why does Pierce always correct misquotations of poetry? (Is this a way of suggesting that he is intended to correct a pervasive wrongness in things?) Is there a reason why Crowley, in his later volumes, starts to address the reader directly, almost chummily, assuring us that we doubtless already remember this detail or that? Are the increased number of passages about the nature of fiction meant to suggest, à la Borges, that we are all characters in a story, that history is a story? from “Souls Hungering After Meaning” By Michael Dirda

I’m beginning to think about what I want to read after Monday. One particularly ambitious possiblity would be John Crowley’s Aegypt sequence. I read John Crowley’s Little Big a few years ago and very much enjoyed its very distinctive fey feel and gorgeous writing. And then I came across Crowley’s blog, full of wonderful musings about writing and so much more. So the Aegypt books have intrigued me long before I read Dirda’s thoughtful and enticing essay about them.

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