Happy Saturday, everyone! At this point I’m about one week away from moving into my new house, if everything goes well. Yay! I’ll have pictures and things of my room once I’ve gotten it painted/unpacked/etc. Furnishing it may take a while, since I’ll be picking stuff out from flea markets and whatnot, but eventually it’ll be pretty.
Next weekend is, of course, the LA Times Festival of Books. I’m…not entirely sure I’ll make it. I have no idea what’s going to happen that weekend re:moving in, and so I may just have to skip the festival and go next year.
Only two months until ALA, though! And that’s right where I’ll be living, so for sure I can make it to THAT. Who else is going? Raise your hands!
Part of why many believe books are gendered — why some books are for boys and some are for girls — is because of the images and what they’re doing or saying. Even if the story itself doesn’t have a message about the female body within it, readers, especially teen girls who are already bombarded with a sickening number of messages about their bodies thanks to every other media they encounter, the cover is telling them something. It’s further offering up beliefs about the ideal image. It’s not just teen girls getting and internalizing the messages though; teen males are, too. They’re seeing books as gendered and they’re also internalizing those messages, which only continues the cycle. We sell the female body on book covers in a way we don’t on male book covers.
The Most Frequently Challenged Book Features Scandalous Texts and Dubious Emoticons @ Jezebel. Meaning, of course, Lauren Myracle’s ttyl.
How to Ask a Question @ The Chronicle of Higher Education. Basically, how not to be a jerk at panels and whatever.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to say we hate characters because they don’t fit our idealistic notions of what a main character should be. One example for me is Hannah from Thirteen Reasons Why. I honestly didn’t like her – no, I think I kind of hated her for how weak she was, how she put the blame on everyone but herself, how she wasn’t strong enough to survive. My ideal character would have noticed these problems, sought help, looked at herself, survived. But Hannah is a real character. She’s realistic in that people go through these problems every day and some are like her, not strong enough to hold on.
By the time I became an academic in the 1970’s, we were known as formalists, pseudo-scientists in white lab coats who dissected and analyzed novels, poems and plays. Novels were no longer fun. They were work. They required an education to fully appreciate their finer points. Even simple, straightforward tales like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that had been pleasing ten-year-olds and their parents for almost a century now required explication by trained professionals.
I think it’s important to be willing to set aside preconceived ideas when setting a book and a movie side-by-side. Books and movies have different tools and different limitations; they tell stories in different ways. And sometimes, they tell subtly different stories altogether. Sometimes it’s worth judging an adaptation of any kind not on how faithfully it adheres to the source material or to a particular reader’s preconceptions—no matter how much the text might support them—but on how good a piece of storytelling it is.
All Locked Up: A personal hair-story @ Rookie
The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature @ The Atlantic Wire