Sunday, August 17, 2014

ah, cultural myopia

Before Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, there was a dearth of young adult literature that straight-up admitted how hard the teenage years are. 

Dear Lauren Eggert-Crowe, excuse me while I slap you down with the ENTIRE COLLECTION of the works of JUDY FUCKING BLUME. I realize these books were published before you were born, unlike those cultural touchstones Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but I assure you, they existed and young women actually read them! You could possibly walk into a bookstore and find a copy of one right now! There was in fact this HUGE FUCKING GENRE of YA "problem novels" which pretty much kicked off the "Young Adult genre," you know, that thing that existed before Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and that's even before books like The Bell Jar and To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Emily of New Moon and The Long Secret, all of which I read AS a girl, despite the terrible handicap of being alive in the Dark Ages before Rowling and Collins. And I got that list by getting up from my desk, going into the hallway and looking at a bookshelf. It was not that hard.

("She has written essays, book reviews, interviews, and cultural reportage for Salon, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Nervous Breakdown, Midnight Breakfast, and L.A. Review of Books." God help us all, she wants to be Laura Miller. Well, she's well on her way to being as ignorant as same.)

(Bonus gratuitous slap at older books: "Little Women these books were not." Ah yes, the horribleness of Little Women! Which was only about stuff like young women writing and an all-female household and the domestic front and even, dare I say, sneaking out! Why the fuck do these "I'm too hip for the Marmee" women writers ((who probably brag about their knitting and quilting "skillz")) all have to go after one of the few established Female Books in the canon? The answer is **INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY** thanks for playing.) ("I'm not like other girls, I don't like Little Women! Let me bore you with how I'm canning my own okra! Betty Friedan who?")

(It amazes me that she NEVER ONCE references Anne Sexton's Transformations, which did everything Block does first backward and in glass high heels, but that would be too much to expect from a....woman poet who's published a couple of books? Okay then. Writers are part of a culture! Nobody works in a vacuum! The minute you say some fucking stupid thing like "there was a dearth of" you are very probably WRONG. You should just erase the fucking sentence and move on. Because literature does not work that way.)