J.R.R. Tolkien on THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WRITING FOR CHILDREN



  • Nice insight about Tolkien thoughts and I would like to share it here.
    I believe there are several reasons why certain economies create categories for things such as children books, teenager books and so on. ... But I like food for thought!

    https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/12/05/j-r-r-tolkien-on-fairy-stories/



  • @diego_biosteam I think it is fascinating to see the different perspectives on the subject, though I don’t know how much Tolkien’s idea is the same are Sandak’s or others. Tolkien seems to be of the mind that his subject matter is definitely not directed at children, but he definitely wrote the characters and the designed the world for children. Tolkien’s work is supoose to be a Roman Catholic apologetic against humanism, but obviously that is lost in the setting, and the fandom that has grown out of it, so I get where he is coming from. Sandak is much more of a grumpy artist who tends to hate his work being picked apart, and much of his discourse on the subject of his work tends to push away from it being identified as one thing.

    I tend to take G.K Chestertons perspective on writing for children, which is that children are the best group to write for, because they see the world without bias. They see the world as entirely new and everything in it as extraordinary. Things that adults tend to pass up they appreciate. If you think about it, the only reason we talk is to exchange knowledge, which is why two adults don’t tell each other about stop signs, or point out that there are clouds in the sky, but for children, since everything is new, all forms of conversation are vital, and they appreciate the things we walk by every day.

    “It is one thing to describe an interview with a gorgon or a griffin, a creature who does not exist. It is another thing to discover that the rhinoceros does exist and then take pleasure in the fact that he looks as if he didn't.” G.K Chesterton



  • @eric-castleman

    I also like Ghibli's approach, which can be summarized in this very nice video essay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52raDbtNpa4&t=630s

    After reading some Japanese children books written before the 90's, I am having the feeling that their stories were written for anyone - it just happens that everyone will have a different experience with a story, based on their own experiences. I feel that the same goes for a book like "The Little Prince".

    This comes from the introduction of an anthology of Japanese children literature: "The profound rupture in adult literary forms during the Meiji era (1868-1912) was echoed in the rewriting of folktales as literature for children. The process was anticipated in early Meiji in the misrepresentation by European scholars and residents of Japan of classical fables and tale literature as having been written for children. However, among scholars in Japan, the emergence of children's literature is identified not with Western representations of Japanese traditions, but with the subsequenct practice of revising folktales and fables to address the modern children of the Meiji era." [Joan E. Ericson, 2001. A Rainbow in the Desert: an anthology of early twentieth century Japanese children's literature]



  • Very interesting—I didn’t make it through the whole article but found the ideas thought provoking. To me, one important aspect of the topic is the importance of respecting our audience as creators. They may be children, but they aren’t stupid. They are as intelligent as an adult, but also less experienced. Creating with respect for an intelligent audience is important, no matter their age.


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