Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Author's of Choice and Author's choices

Okay, so it's no big secret that I love to read. Everyone I know has picked up on that one "what do you know about Sandi" bit of trivia. My favorite authors vary from Dean Koontz to Rudyard Kipling. I love writers with a wry sense of humor and those with no sense of humor at all. I have been an avid fan of Harry (our dear Mister Potter) and Kay (Dr. Scarpetta) ever since JK and Patricia first birthed them. But for crying out loud, one has a coming out party and the other will now be subject to whispers and averted eyes for the rest of her career. And all in the same month. Oh, the humanity! What are they doing to me? I love Dumbledore and to be honest who or what he sleeps with makes no never mind to me. My bedroom is my bedroom and I assume that goes for Dumbledore, as well. But really, this was (I was assuming again) a series of books for children which it turned out, the parents also loved. I know of at least one child who had the first book read to her a chapter a night and then the selfish gran, er, reader read to her heart's content and finished the book in like, say a day? Or at least that's what I understand to have happened. This same reader also bought the next book as a gift for someone who shall remain nameless in here, but read it before boxing and wrapping it, making it a regift. It was a first edition and the giver did not want the terrible action of "a first edition, spine not broken" being seen on E-Bay. Every beloved book should have its spine cracked, indicating that someone thought enough of it to actually read it. Will I reread the Potter series? Well of course I will, as I said what goes on in anyone's bedroom is their business and none of mine, but I fear other children (well, I am a child, at heart anyway) will be denied the opportunity of finding this series of books and learning a love of reading because of prejudice. Prejudice is such an ugly word in principal and even uglier in action. Okay, so Dumbledore has been outed and Kay Scarpetta...I can hardly think, the humiliation of what has befallen our beloved Dr. Kay...has suffered a sexual assault. I have followed Dr. Kay Scarpetta from her very first case, I know her likes and dislikes, her family (and everyone has a dysfunctional family, I'm sure of it...my family put the dys in functional, of that there's also no doubt). When I first knew it was about to happen I had to put the book down for a couple of days. I had to prepare myself for her ordeal because she is like a fictional sister to me, and I couldn't bear this to happen to any woman, living or dead, real or imaginal. I have my reasons. Trust me. I have learned over the years that rape is almost never about the sex. It is about the power. It is about the power being taken from you and the almost certain knowledge that the action will be at the back of the ravaged person's mind for a lifetime. Forever. And beyond. So. While I disagree with JK's action, I don't necessarily disagree with Patricia's. On one hand, something that would never have occurred to a reader in one series hurts the series in my opinion, and on the other hand something that occurs in the other series educates. There is a big difference in education and titillating. Bad girl, JK (Rowling)...you may have fallen off the radar for anything else that may be in that fertile mind but worse yet, you may have deprived another generation of loving your vivid and witty characters and learning to love the written word all for the sake of sensationalism. Brave girl, Patricia (Cornwell)...you have brought the victim forward and shamed the devil. You have shown us that we can rise above humiliation and triumph over evil.

3 comments:

Kari said...

On this, we must agree to disagree. I think any shame for parents not allowing their children to read HP because of Dumbledore being "outed" belongs to the parents, not the author. After all, she didn't make his sexuality a focus in the books, merely detailed a facet of his character's life while discussing it in a group setting. And I stopped reading Cornwell after the release of Isle of Dogs, which I thought was one of the worst books ever, ever written. I can't even believe she wrote it herself, it seemed so bad (to me anyway). Cornwell's characters slowly became to convoluted and surreal for me to enjoy.
But hey. This is only an opinion. And I love you so don't hold my opinions against me. lol

Sandi McBride said...

Nah, that's what opinions are, they're not meant to reflect anything but my thoughts. I agree, never thought that Cornwell wrote Isle of Dogs either...didn't even sound like her. And I hold the bit of info against JK because she as a parent should be well aware that children are controlled by their parents in almost everything...including what they are allowed to read...I'm sure I wasn't the only kid to have a copy of Catcher in the Rye or Gone with the Wind (at the age of 10) hidden somewhere in my room...

Susie Q said...

I love reading anything about books and authors. : ) You know your stuff don'tcha dear Sandi!

I had one of those Cather in the Rye copies in my room too! : ) My Mom thinks that is a hoot now.

Grace is just starting to be interested in HP. She can not read it to herself quite yet (Still reading on a 1st grade level) but asked if we could try the first book, read aloud to her, next week.


Please know we have kept Joey and Karen in our thoughts and heart and prayers each day. I had read Karen's message last night just before I went to bed. It broke my heart for her...so many people are praying and caring. I lift them both up in prayer.

Have a sweet Wednesday Sandi!

Hugs,
Sue