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Posts tagged "guilty pleasures"
Slate recently ran a piece by writer Ruth Graham on adults reading YA fiction with the subheading, “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.” Graham probably didn’t write that subhead, but she did write this:
My own fuddy-duddy opinion: Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.
We all love things that other people think are garbage. You have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage, because what makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences, the unique ways in which we mix up the parts of culture others have deemed “high” and the “low.”
When you find things you genuinely enjoy, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about it. Don’t feel guilty about the pleasure you take in the things you enjoy. Celebrate them.
One: YA is a marketing category, not a critical category that offers meaningful description. Widely varied things get thrown into it.
Two: 90% of so-called YA is crap. But then (Sturgeon’s Law) 90% of everything is crap. Ditto for romance, mystery, & “literary fiction.”
Three: So the real logic of @publicroad’s argument is: don’t read crap. The YA designator is a red herring.
Four: But see, a small percentage of what gets called YA is really, really good fiction. (Ditto all other categories, per earlier tweet.)
Five: Moreover, we tend to call something YA if it deals with young people’s experience from their PV. But that’s a really important part of human experience that, as @arrroberts has pointed, “literary fiction” tends to overlook
Six: So, if we have to do “should read” (shudder), I’d say: Go ahead and read YA, but you should look for the good stuff.
Seven: But let me rinse my mouths of those “shoulds” and say again: READ AT WHIM.
READ AT WHIM!