In defence of the blockbuster

Reading Time: 5 minutes The Atlantic has an interesting article in defence, really, of Stephen King. Essentially, it says that despite the fact his prose is neither beautiful nor poetic, he writes excellent stories that are worth reading. That’s not exactly full of praise, but I suppose it’s a start: What’s not really arguable, I think, is that such tales are worth writing and worth reading, even if beauty of language and subtlety of characterization get sacrificed along the way. Not all stories have to do the same things. In the original argument over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, the debate was …

Children’s fantasy worlds

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article by the Guardian – Children’s Books Reflect Harsh Reality – has some definitely interesting points to it. It’s been written in response to an article “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Challenging the Mythology of Home” published in the Journal of Children’s Literature which suggests that instead of coming home to a loving, secure environment – albeit one that’s been temporarily disrupted by evil step-parents, witches or smugglers, that children instead have homes which have problems of abuse, children taking on the parental role, and so on. Parents are either “ineffective, amoral or confusing” or at best “loving but traumatised” …