Michelle Dean on YA: A Response (via @fozmeadows, HT: @nkjemisin)

Moral panic about our yoof reading the wrong stuff? Guaranteed eyeballs on the internet.

Fox Meadows delivers a lengthy smackdown of Michelle Dean’s piece:

I’m a bit late to the party on Michelle Dean’s Our Young-Adult Dystopia, which article appeared in the New York Times in mid-February; nonetheless,  I can’t quite see my way to letting it pass without comment. Unlike the vast majority of people who end up wringing their hands in mainstream publications about how YA Novels Will Doom Us All, Dean appears to actually have read the books she’s talking about, rather than merely criticising them from afar. This has not, however, stopped her from writing one of the most pompous and irritating opening paragraphs of our times.

In summary, Michelle Dean lamented the quality of reading today compared to ‘When I was Younger’ or the golden age of ‘Before I was born’. Humorously, I’m currently reading Orlando, in which a contemporary of Shakespeare complains about the terrible mess of pop art that is the Elizabethan Age, compared to the quality of literature produced by the Ancient World. So Virginia Woolf was making the same joke back in 1920 about ‘modern’ vs ‘good’ art. Nothing much changes when it comes to articles about ‘How Art is Destroying The Next Generation’, it seems.

Foz treats Michelle’s screed with the faux outrage it deserves:

How dare new authors be inspired to write successful books in popular genres! Never mind that, owing to the long lead times in publishing, Roth’s Divergent was picked up by Harper Collins in July 2010, a month before the final Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, was even on shelves – of course Roth is a latecomer! And how dare the third book of a successful trilogy be printed in huge numbers, apparently! Down with big print runs!

Read the lengthy smackdown here: http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/michelle-dean-on-ya-a-response/

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