August 02, 2008

The Bond Girl and NPR

I'm an NPR groupie, and an Anne-girl, so it was a special bit of fun to hear that one of our own in the children's lit blogging world was on NPR talking about Anne. Gwenda talks about her favorite things about Anne of Green Gables, and NPR showcases the gorgeous new cover Modern Library has released. The best thing about the cover? No face! We are once again free to experience Anne completely in our imaginations.

What made me a little sad about reading the first chapter excerpt from the book (aside from the fact that I have lost my original green hardbound 1950's copy which I found in library discards in the third or fourth grade - it's probably been "cleaned up" AKA tossed, by my Dad) is that the language -- which thrilled and charmed me and rolled around deliciously in my vocabulary-hungry mouth -- is too hard for a lot of the young readers I know. There are reading group versions of this book, devised to render the archaic language more easily accessible, but the beauty of Anne to me was her love of beautiful words, and her absolute insistence on collecting as many as possible to express her mercurial moods. Without that, this classic orphan tale could be just another Annie, or Pippi Longstockings...

6 comments:

divatobe said...

How cool to see an actual map of her life!

slayground said...

Oh, the original is so lovely and intelligent that I won't touch abridged versions!

I was at the conference yesterday where we all were exactly one year prior - You two were missed!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Making abridged, so-called "accessible" versions of Anne doesn't seem to allow for the scope of the imagination. Did they rename The Lake of Shining Waters, too, while they were at it? :/

In other unrelated news, I am happy to report that Seattle Public Library has 6 copies of A La Carte and King County Library System has 14.

TadMack said...

Willow and Alkelda -- I agree. I've seen the easy-reader versions of Anne, and they disappoint. The LANGUAGE is what MAKES the book what it is. But there has to be a way to open up the wonder of the story to slower readers, and I wouldn't want them to go away because they couldn't "get" the big words and old-style writing.

It might be a case for (cringe!) using the movies...

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Do you know I've never read this book?

GASP.

Go, Gwenda!

TadMack said...

It's okay not to have -- some people aren't that into early 19th century literature -- whereas I had to FORCE myself to read Catcher in the Rye and haven't made it through tons of 20th century work people claim to be "seminal." So...