Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bang Head Here

I'm surprised Andrew hasn't piped in on this one yet. Guess it's up to me. Be afraid.

So, yeah, the YA blogosphere nearly caught fire over the last 48 hours or so after this writer made some staggeringly ill-formed blanket judgments about YA as a whole. One of those instances where an entire oeuvre is condemned because someone jumped to rash conclusions based on a limited (and, apparently, ill-chosen) sampling. It's like saying all science fiction sucks based on reading a single STAR WARS novelization.

There are rebuttals, refutals, recriminations, and other re words floating around. It's good to see. Nothing mobilizes the YA world like being dismissed (or the mistaken perception of being dismissed, as novelist Margo Rabb learned a few months ago when she penned a NYT essay that was frequently misunderstood). Colleen Mondor has a wonderful response on Guys Lit Wire. And TadMack sends her thoughts from Glasgow.

Sometimes I think we owe these Ann Coulters of YA thanks. (Not Colleen and Tadmack! I mean Caitlin Flanagan and her ilk.) By contributing outlandish opinions, they force us to look at what we do and want to accomplish and really appreciate that we have vision that's not limited by our diminished sense of tolerance. Just like how banning a book is the surest way to watch its numbers rise, poo-pooing YA galvanizes the community.
So go ahead. Turn up your nose, naysayers. That which does not kill us...won't get a second chance to try. BWAH-HAH-HAH!!


Andrew Karre said...

I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend in the woods with my family. I decided I wasn't ready to unpack my hammer and tongs yet, even for something as ridiculous as this.

I don't think it's a coincidence that "genre" writers have strong senses of community. They have to in order to survive.

A.S. King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirstin Cronn-Mills said...

How does someone so dense (despite her language abilities) get to write for a place like THE ATLANTIC?

Anne Spollen said...

"I hate YA novels; they bore me."

Ok, so balancing equations bores me which is why I would never write windy, anecdotal articles about them in national magazines.

A.S. King said...

Here's where I stopped reading:

"[teen girls] who have a more complicated attitude toward their own emerging sexuality than do boys, and who are far more rooted in the domestic routines and traditions of their families, which constitute the vital link between the sweet cocooning of childhood and their impending departure from it."

Uh - yeah. Okay. How am I supposed to take the rest of this article seriously after THAT?

I'm re-posting my original comment from Tuesday above, minus the honking big typo. Also, since reading the entire piece, I have written a haiku in response.

Canceled subscription
and spent my money on some
boring YA books.