Juvenilia (sp)

July 6, 2008

My husband has pointed out that I can’t spell juvenilia …oh well, I did say I had a  poor education. Also that my last post will offend publishers, teachers and politicians and all other sensitive people. But, as I say, there are those who do not deserve to be called lazy, moronic, dim and so forth and they know who they are.

When I read in The Times that Frank Cottrell Boyce thinks the sentences in E.Nesbit’s ‘The Story of The Treasure Seekers’ and ‘The New Treasure Seekers’ may be too long and the language too antiquated for today’s children I am plunged into gloom. I remember reading those books as a child without difficulty and loving them. Clearly he did too. Were we infant phenomena? No. Speaking for myself, I was of average intelligence and had an ordinary State educationuntil the age of 12 when I went to stupid girls’ boarding school and thereafter learned practically nothing. What little knowledge and understanding I have since acquired was gained through reading. What a disservice we do our children and our children’s children by our feeble acquiescence to the dim and lazy teaching establishment and the even more moronic standards of politicians. What I am coming to here, via a characteristic rant, is the question of age banding (i.e. this book is suitable for ages 5-7)  on children’s books, currently being debated. Philip Pullman is owed huge gratitude by the entire population of this country and for generations to come for the hours he has already spent on trying to countermand the  idiocy of publishers who want to fit reader to book in this ludicrous and arbitary and deleterious fashion. I suppose they would put E.Nesbit’s well-written, entertaining, child-friendly corpus into the adult section. Of course no one likes being told what to do. Publishers particularly  hate being told what to do by writers, whom they regard as a necessary evil. It wouldn’t matter if you had  Aristotle, Leibniz, Pascal and Betrand Russell lined up to explain just why age-banding is illogical, publishers would simply stick their chins out further, while making notes not to give their books any more publicity.  Okay, so I’m cross and  perhaps being unfair to teachers, politicians and publishers, not all of whom are idle, ignorant creeps courting popularity, but something MUST be done about the drop in standards of reading which must affect every aspect of our lives, from ethics to simple happiness right across the board. Perhaps we could turn off our individual domestic electricity supplies during daylight hours so that children could not watch television or play on computers and would be forced to read, intially through boredom?  How green it would be and how economical. As our heating and cooking is gas I think I might. CHEAT!