“A False Conception of Growth” – CS Lewis

Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

[…] They accuse us of arrested development because we have not lost a taste we had in childhood. But surely arrested development consists not in refusing to lose old things but in failing to add new things? […] I call this growth or development because I have been enriched: where I formerly had only one pleasure, I now have two. […] I think my growth is just as apparent when I now read the fairy tales as when I read the novelists, for I now enjoy the fairy tales better than I did in childhood: being now able to put more in, of course I get more out. But I do not here stress that point. Even if it were merely a taste for grown-up literature added to an unchanged taste for children’s literature, addition would still be entitled to the name ‘growth’, and the process of merely dropping one parcel when you pick up another would not.

― C.S. Lewis

A lot of the above are some of the themes of this blog. We focus so very much on the very adult and important things in life that we forget that our inner child is important too. We need to frolic and have fun and enjoy life and one way to do that is to read. Children’s literature gives us a child’s perspective on life, which gives us a renewed sense of joy and wonder in the world. So let’s read more children’s books and feed our inner child.

via Goodreads | Quote by C. S. Lewis: Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval….


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Put Away the Fear of Childish Things

From whence the blog title came.

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A portion of my children’s books. They’re hidden away in the closet. Not for shame but for lack of room.

I enjoyed fantasy literature as a child: I put on the Sorting Hat and came out a Hufflepuff, I walked through the Wardrobe, I found the Six Signs with Will, and I fought the Doldrums with Milo. Then high school came along and demanded all my time and I fell out of reading like I once did. When I did pick up a non-school book, I soon discovered that I didn’t want to read the very grown up books that everyone else was reading, I wanted to read stories with magic and mystery and fairy tale creatures, but it didn’t seem like that was allowed. I had to “grow up.” I let my love for Harry Potter shine bright, but rather than read other “children’s” books, I hardly read outside of school at all. I’ve discovered that fantasy books indeed do exist in “adult” literature and enjoy reading those, but why did I have to stop reading children’s books? Because I was an “adult” now?

Then I discovered the essays of C. S. Lewis. Besides the world of Narnia, Lewis grabbed my interest in his discussion of fairy tales. I began to “allow” myself to (more publicly) enjoy fairy tales, with the visage of “studying” them for their interesting histories and the way they’ve transformed from dark and Grimm, to pure and Disney, back to gritty and modernized. So Lewis led me to a famous quote of his in which he explains that he himself went through a long period where he didn’t read fairy tales (in public) because others would have mocked him for it. Once he was older, however, he stopped caring.

 When I was ten I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. [x]

Though I’m only nearly half Lewis’ age when he said the quote, it still resonated. Why shouldn’t I read whatever I want to read? If I want to read “children’s” books, I should! (I’ll probably get into the age division of literature–a topic Lewis also discusses–later.) I want to be a writer, and I’m still figuring out exactly to what medium the stories within me belong. I have a love of television and have a blog about that, but I also like reading. I like reading fantasy and mystery and certain types of science fiction–and a lot of children’s literature exist in those genres. So why not also pursue that passion as well?

This blog will contain discussions on children’s/YA books (both new and older), articles, and issues of diversity in children’s literature in general, as well as children’s sci-fi-fantasy books specifically. I’ll post links and share pictures of Fairy Tales found on tumblr. It’ll grow and develop as I read more. And maybe I’ll work on some original fiction too!

Thanks for hanging out. Let’s talk about some books!

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