Friday, March 02, 2007

Quotable quotes

First post after (forced) migration to the new blogger -- (oh, the horror of change...)

I just received Celebrating Children's Books: Essays in Children's Literature in Honor of Zena Sutherland (eds. Betsy Hearne and Marilyn Kaye) in a batch of used books. It's a collection of short pieces primarily by children's book authors, and, as such, is filled with memorable passages. Here are a few of the more quotable ones, in order of appearance. (I'm still reading...)

Plot is not the same as story. Plot, say, is the road on which we drive our car . . . story is what we see along the way.
--Lloyd Alexander, "The Grammar of Story"

We [writers] are all at the mercy of the quality of the imagination we inherit. The book can never be better than that.
--Susan Cooper, "Escaping into Ourselves"

[On bibliotherapy and problem books]
But often we want to forget, to swathe our seminal awareness in comfort. And we present children with cozy books about divorce and desertion and death and sex, promising them that, in the end, everything can be made all right. Thus we drown eternal human questions with contemporary bromides, all mechanics and sanctimony, filled with a ruinous complacency.
--Paula Fox, "Some Thoughts on Imagination in Children's Literature"

[ditto]
While we are thinking about the application of books to readers, I would like to point out how this particular brokerage seems to be conducted only with children's books; one does not rush to give Anna Karenina to friends who are committing adultery, or minister to distressed old age with copies of King Lear.
--Jill Paton Walsh, "The Art of Realism"

More to come...

2 Comments:

Blogger Jill said...

I really *love* that quote from Jill Paton Walsh. Really. I snickered ever so rudely at the computer.

10:42 AM  
Blogger booklogged said...

Thanks for sharing these quotes. I can use the analogy by Lloyd Alexander to help my study skills students better understand plot and storyline. It helped me.

8:46 PM  

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