Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Can't Get Enough Nancy

Sometime after the beginning of November I found a New Yorker article entitled Nancy Drew's Father by Meghan O'Rourke. Yeah, you guessed it. It sat around for a couple of months before I read it. I enjoyed it a lot, though, because it was all about Edward Stratemeyer who created the Stratemeyer Syndicate which produced a number of famous kid classics from the early Twentieth Century. Stratemeyer may not have been a literary giant--he was an idea guy who shipped out the actual writing of most of the books to other writers--but I love those "can do" businessmen from the early part of the last century.

And, of course, Stratemeyer was responsible for bringing Nancy Drew into the lives of generations of young girls, including yours truly.

Now, I wasn't going to bother writing about the article figuring I do enough old news here. But the whole thing became topical again because today's Salon has an article on dear Nancy entitled The Mystery of a Feminist Icon. In it, the author, Priya Jain, talks about how the most recent revision of the book makes Nancy too natural and not someone to emulate the way she was in the Nancy Drew books Jain was reading twenty years ago.

Priya, dear, I wish I was reading Nancy Drew only twenty years ago.

And--get this--Jain refers back and links to the New Yorker article by O'Rourke!

Like Jain, I loved Nancy back when I was in grade school and maybe my early teens. I, too, remember spending some of my hard earned money on the books. However, by the time I was in college I was referring to her as Nancy Drew Defective.

Of course, we all know what a witch I am.

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