Thursday, March 01, 2007

How Much Otherness Do We Really Want?

It's March first, and I just read the January/February issue of The Horn Book. Believe me, I've been much later. I'm probably just in time. They've got what looks like the cover for the March/April issue up at the website, so I should be receiving it any day.

If you still have your January/February issue, check out the article by Deirdre F. Baker called Musings on Diverse Worlds. Baker discusses whether children's fantasy is truly "'other'-oriented" and says, "We can map a history of attitudes toward race and diversity by means of fantasy for children." Contemporary fantasy, she contends, is "tied to a certain kind of celebration of cultural diversity." But not among protagonists.

She has something very interesting to say about how Megan Whalen Turner describes and visualized Eugenides versus his peaches and cream appearance on the cover of The King of Attoila.

And, finally, she points out that a great deal of fantasy draws upon European medieval culture. Which tended to be white, I believe.

I am intrigued.

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