Monday, July 16, 2007

read new books but keep the old, one is silver...

re Anne Fine's intelligent article on rewriting books,
Read Roger writes:

"But isn't it the natural way of things that old books give way to new books? Not that people won't continue to read a mix of new and old, but what Fine is advocating is a kind of artificial life support for books that might otherwise fall out of fashion or favor. Let 'em."

Oh man, could I disagree more? The Oz books, Roger... THE OZ BOOKS! They've already fallen out of favor in the past, goodness knows how many times, and who gives a rat's ass? They're still awesome books.

I've written before about my mixed feelings about this issue--to sum up, fewer racist images in Oz books=probably good, total needless destruction of sections of Dr. Dolittle books=definitely bad--but I don't see anything needless about caring about these books from the past.
Whether rewriting books is the Right Thing to Do is still an open question--though in the case of the actual author, Fine herself, choosing to do it, what's the question?--but the books will last or not based on other merits, if we give them a chance to. It's not life support. It's equal opportunity.

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