Thursday, October 13, 2005

More Juicie Stuff From The Horn Book

Anita Burkam has an article on the difference between the book and movie versions of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne-Jones. I've read the book but haven't seen the movie. Nonetheless, I found the article interesting, particularly the following. "...the director of Howl's Moving Castle is taking a story from the British-English folktale universe and placing it in the realm of Japanese anima...most (Americans) won't understand the set of expectations that help Japanese viewers navigate Miyazaki's visual mode of storytelling, and the folktale context of Jones's story that would have guided them is gone." Here Burkam is talking about what I think of as the "shared language" that "artists" use to communicate with their audience. Jones has a language (the folktale context) that her audience understands, and Miyazaki has a language (the themes and character-types of anime) that his audience understands. When the language and audience are mixed will any communication take place?

The only book review that really grabbed me was one of Code Orange by Caroline Cooney, mainly because I'm interested in smallpox. (Hey, it's a purely historical interest. No need to report me to Homeland Security.)

Then there was this article called Twig's Vision by Alice Cary, which was about a children's illustrator I'd never heard of named Elizabeth Orton Jones. Why, you may ask, was I reading an article I've never heard of when I have probably two feet of magazines and newspapers to make my way through? It is a mystery.

I was, however, struck by the following: "Many things infuriated Twig, such as injustice and narrow vision. Nevere mind that she was in her nineties--she was still riled by the censoring of her Golden Book Little Red Riding Hood. Her 1948 original featured a carafe and glass of wine on Grandma's table, just as the original Grimm version, but later editions were changed to show grape juice instead." I was struck by it because I had that Golden Book. Did I say "had it"? I still have it! I jumped up off the couch where I'd been reclining, climbed up on a chair in the living room, and there it was on a top shelf.

Why did the carafe and glass of wine stick out in my mind? Hmmm.

Finally, I would like to comment on the back cover of this issue of The Horn Book. It was an advertisement for Jane Yolen and Mark Teague's How Do Dinosaur's Eat Their Food . Though I haven't mentioned it in a while, I am still obsessed with Jane Yolen's on-line journal . Jane is always going on and on about how seldom she seems to have a chance to write and all the distracting things in her life that keep her from working. Well, all I can say, Jane, is you're not doing too badly if you're getting advertisements like that. You want to hear about the last time my publisher took out an advertisement on the back of The Horn Book ? Never! They've never advertised one of my books on the back of anything.

Not that I'm complaining G. P. Putnam's Sons. Love you all.

I have just discovered a whole new toolbar for my blog, so I'm experimenting. God only knows what this thing is going to look like once it's been posted.


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