Friday, August 29, 2008

"Popular" literature

Great discussion today, everyone! I mentioned to you that often -- or historically -- "children's" literature and "popular novels" (like those of Stephen King) have been dismissed by English departments at universities. This is starting to change, happily. Can you think of a popular novel or a children's or young adult ("YA") book that you contend is an excellent example of "literary art"? Why is it? Does it do more than hold attention and entertain? Or, is satisfaction of those criteria alone enough to qualify a text as "literary" (we discussed this too)? I am anxious to read your responses!

7 comments:

spurs_rh said...

I believe many children's and young adult books are fine examples of literary art. Alice in Wonderland, Animal Farm, and Aesop's Fables are just a few in my opinion that creatively illuminate the world around us. Each of these works hold complex meanings that could be studied at the university level.
-Danielle Chavez-Davis

lupine-lunacy said...

I think stories need an underlying message in order to be considered literary art. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift would be a good example. It dealt with the state of the European government at the time of its writing, petty religious differences, and social class among an array of other things. The story does hold attention and entertain. Gulliver's travels did this so well that many of its messages went unnoticed for quite some time. The fact that it did more than just entertain, that it created a visual representation of what he felt towards his society, is what makes Jonathan’s story literary art.

-Matt Pryor

FTATB11305 said...

A good book that I read in high school but has since been banned is "Bless Me Ultima". This book told a story about traditions of older generations. Some of the rituals were deemed "magic" by the school board and that is why the book was banned. This book was a good example of literary art because it shows traditions and values that may not have ever been seen by the reader.

-Edward Acree

aoliphant said...

i just had through my voice in for Dr Suess. many of his books were great examples of not only simple poetry but underlying deeper points

Alejandro said...

Well, i'm a fan of graphic novels; maybe not as much as an enthuiast, but i certainly consider it a literary art that has the quality of entertaining as well as presenting controversial topics. i think many people have an misinformed perception of comic books, thinking them more at par with completed coloring books. More and more, however, we're starting to see the graphic novel influence mainstream media.
-Alejandro Meneses

Santiago said...

I have to say that throughout my college career I have not had any classes that require novels to be read, but I believe that the novels that I read in high school were good examples of literary art. Such novels include The Catcher in The Rye, Brave New World, and Ethan Frome. Although these books may be considered classics and some of them might be used in college classes already, I think that they hold up as books that are entertaining examples of literature whether they are read at the high school or college level.

-Santiago Flores

Joe said...

With the hint at King I must add The Stand to that list. Especially, the final revised cut (1991?)displays every literary concept from setting to theme is a brilliant manner and in-depth.