Sunday, April 22, 2012

The plague of Young Adult Fiction....Harry Potter

I have to say that the popularity of books like "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Twilight" has finally demonstrated that the average reading level of people here in the U.S. is that of a Young Adult. To me, and probably to many other people as well, the popularity of these books, the fact that publishers can publish them with a straight face, is an indication of just how semi-literate, stupid,  and commercialism driven our society has become.

Harry Potter inadvertently opened the door to this flood of fecal fluid. Now, I'm not against Harry Potter. I think that Harry Potter became a hit because American literary culture had been focussed on the critical for so long that people were looking for an epic counterpoint to. Although I got this second hand, I believe Northrop Frye points to a tendency in society for people to prefer epic stories, then critical and cynical ones, and then to return to epic stories, in a sort of constant, regular cycle. Harry Potter presented a nice escape through basic myth making that made a nice, entertaining, series of stories. Sometimes, you need that sort of thing among all the heavy seriousness of literature, and you need someone to come along who's willing just to tell a silly story. However, its popularity also made it acceptable for adults to read Young Adult literature, setting the stage for the semi-literate resurgence we're seeing right now.

It made it possible for grown adults to show no shame reading books intended for adolsecents.

Paul Constant of "The Stranger" has a great take down of "Fifty Shades of Grey" Here.

*on edit: I should add that all this exists in an environment where "Cajun Pawn Broker" and "Auction Hunters" (about people buying abandoned storage units) are good 'ole TV fare.

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